Thursday, May 17, 2012

Finding the Queen

Last week we were excited for Wednesday to roll around. Wednesday would mark a week from the day when we set the bees up in their new home. (to read more about bringing the bees home visit my post Iron Oak Farm's a Buzzing)
By this day, they would hopefully be established enough for us to disturb them and check the queen.
It was a nice sunny day, but cool, so the bees were fairly active. We went out, suited with our veils, smoker in tote and walked the long path to the edge of the woods.

Our hives reside between two honeysuckle bushes, on a small hill close to the tree line.

There's a shallow stream that runs not far from this spot where the bees can drink. It's important to have a water source near your hive.

This is not the first time we've opened the hive since setting it up. Two days after we set up the hive, we had to take just the lid off to see if the queen had been released from her excluder box, and indeed she had. We had placed some marshmallow fluff in the corked opening and if the bees accepted her they would eat the marshmallow and release her into the hive.
When we checked, the box was empty and we hoped that she was somewhere in the hive happily laying eggs. At this point it was too soon to disturb the frames to look for her. So we replaced the lid and hoped for the best until we could check again in a week.

A week passed and this time we could remove the frames and view the amazing world of the bees, check on their progress and find the queen to make sure she was alive. We were lucky to find her on the first frame.

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