New Queen Delivery

Earlier in the week I prepared a set of 4 frames and brood from a hive with a large population.

Today the new queen came. I say new, but I noticed she was marked. Nothing wrong with a marked queen, but she was marked with a faded white dot.

What's wrong with that? White was last year's (2011) color and the dot wasn't fresh. I suppose I was expecting a young fertile queen, and instead got a slightly older fertile one. Oh well, she's here, and that's all that matters.

Queen In Cage

The queen cage did not come with any attendants, so it was just the queen and the candy plug in the cage. If there are attendants, it's important to hang the cage with the plug upwards in case any attendants die, they won't block the candy plug.

Since it's only the queen, we can hang it upside down no problem.

The cage did not come with any wire or tacks to hang with, so we put a section of 14 gauge wire through a hole we drilled into the cage.

This allowed us to hold onto the cage easier as we lowered it between two frames and gently pressed the frames together to hold onto the cage. It's normal to damage honey comb where the queen cage is held into place, the bees will fix it later.

Below you can see the top of the wire showing that we used as a handle to lower the queen cage down.

Fanning Honey Bees

Almost immediately after introducing the queen the workers went over to check her out. They covered the cage, through none of them tried to sting through it. We did notice that a half dozen bees promptly started fanning it's wings as if to blow the new queen's scent through the rest of the hive.

I hope this is a good sign, and they release her in a few days!

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Diane (SpeedKin) says...
Date:   April 8, 2012, 3:47 pm

I've never ordered just a queen so I've no clue but a queen from last year?  That just doesn't sound right.  Where did you order from?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   April 8, 2012, 8:48 pm

The club purchased hygienic Italian queens from Avoyelles Honey Co. in Louisiana.

This was my first year ordering queens from the club, and I'm not sure what is "normal".

I sent a note to the club's online forum asking what others thought, and if this is the normal practice, or if we should contact the supplier and complain.

We'll see what others who have ordered in the past say.  :)

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