Thursday, June 4, 2015

:: ReQueening My Bee Hive ::

After the full inspection of my hives with my mentor on Tuesday we discovered one of my hives was very much behind. We located the queen and found she had only laid 3 eggs and the worker bees were creating what are called "Supercedure Cells".
They create these as a way to replace the current queen due to either the lack of her laying or just getting old. In this case; since my bees are so new she was most likely not fully mated when I received her; therefor not laying like she should be.  Here's another view of the queen cell...
Thanks to the local bee club I was able to get into contact with a member who had an extra queen from the shipment we had just received. A quick trip to Monmouth to pick her up & we were ready for the duty of re-queening.
Once again, a friend came over to help me. It's so nice to have an extra set of hands and eyes since I'm such a "new-bee".
We located all of the supercedure cells and removed them because we don't want those to fully develop, emerge, and then possibly kill the new queen we are putting in. Next we located the current queen that needed to be removed. We both felt bad at this point, but she had to be squished. I rolled her into an bit of the burr comb and wax as to help hide her scent until I could take and get rid of it away from the hives.
We followed the same procedure as when we first installed the queen cages the first day.

A worker bee saying hello & hopefully in the nicest way possible.

The queen will remain in the cage for a few days in order for the workers to get used to her scent and hopefully except her as their new queen. I'll check on them again on Sunday to make sure she has been released and all is well.
Meanwhile in my 2nd hive, things are looking great!
 During Tuesdays inspection we found brood, pollen, and lots of happy bees! We did not open that hive yesterday but there was lots of activity happening outside the hive so I got a few shots of the girls flying back in and even spotted one with a bit of pollen in her sacs.
I leave you today with this food for thought ...
For me, learning about bees has been so much more than just waiting to harvest their honey.
Happy Thursday everyone!


  1. this is amazing!! I have contemplated adding a hive or two to our farm but have no idea what I am doing so very hesitant!!! love your photos of them!!!

  2. Love reading about your adventures!