Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bee Log 30: April 20, 2010

The queen-less hive that has been swarming out and then in each day for the last week or so finally swarmed out and stayed out. I was grateful that the swarm landed in our yard on nice low raspberry bushes. I clipped a few canes so that I could get the majority of the swarm on top of a new hive body. The bees started to melt down in between the frames. As bees moved into the hive from the top, a troop set up a fanning action on the front of the hive. They are the bees on the front of the hive with their back ends in the air waving their wings like crazy. The function of this is to disperse a pheromone telling the other bees that they want to set up house-keeping here. Notice all the bees on the ground aiming in the direction of the hive. They are being called into the hive and have started marching in that direction. Eventually most of the bees made it into the hive and we put a lid on the box.

After night-fall, we wanted to put the hive in a more convenient location. There was still a beard of bees hanging off the front deck of the hive. My husband got a bit impatient and was grabbing handfuls of those bees and trying to stuff them through their front door. Needless to say, this was not popular in beeville. Good thing we had on our bee suits. We left them for the night and moved the hive the next morning while it was still too cool for the bees to fly.

The big question is the queen. I had put the queen cell pictured in the last post in the queen-less, swarming hive to try to get the bees to hang on until we were able to requeen that hive. I don't know if that cell opened on its own or was torn apart and destroyed. The left over queen cup had the appearance of the latter. So, the possibilities for both hives are no queen or an unmated queen.

I purchased two mated queens from Beez Neez (Snohomish, WA) last Friday, April 16. The queens and attendants were in boxes about the size of a box that comes with a nice pen set. The end of the box was blocked with a bit of hard candy. The candy blocked the entrance and would provide about 3 days of food and then freedom. I did not have time to answer the queen question so I suspended the two new queens in the two hives existing after the swarm. Today (Tuesday, April 20), I need to get in those hives and see what I can see.

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