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Tag Archives | queen bee

Queens and Inspections

by HoneyLover Susan Rudnicki

One of the most important regular events in the life of a beekeeper is the inspection of the hive to verify that the queen is laying and the workers are vigorous. It’s late July, so the queen is laying less and the bees are not as focused on brood rearing as they were earlier in the year, but we still must inspect the brood nest every 3-4 weeks to verify that the queen is doing her job. 

I often hear newbees say that they “know” they have a laying queen because they see the bees bringing in pollen. This is not a reliable sign; even a queenless hive will show the pollen gatherers robotically still bringing in pollen because that’s their job!

The only way to know the status of your Queen Mother is to actually see eggs and open brood. You do not need to see HER, only the evidence of her work. Proper smoking technique is essential for calming and observing the bees, so if you do not know what that is please read up on the HoneyLove website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7RAgCEtaME

If your hive stack is several boxes high, it is best to go to the bottom level first by setting aside the other boxes so not all the bees are driven to the bottom box (crowding them) by the smoking and inspection process. Foragers returning will also add to the number in the entry box, so place the boxes in a stack in reverse order to be able to look into the bottom level first.

Alternately, If your hive is grumpy, place a towel or piece of plywood over each box as you remove it so the individual bee boxes are isolated from each other and contained. Check the frames in the first hive body for eggs and open brood. Eggs are very small and it is essential that you be able to identify them. Use a strong set of glasses or a magnifier if you need to.

Older hives—two years or more—will often abandon the lowest level the first winter and most brood rearing will occur in the next level up while excess bee bread and honey will be stored in the bottom box. There is no satisfactory answer from experts as to why this happens but it is common.

Sometimes a colony loses their queen and a worker (or a number of workers) begin laying drone eggs as compensation. There can be entire frames of capped and open drone brood. This is called having a “laying worker hive” and obviously leads to a dead end. Sometimes the bees do not have the resources of eggs less that four days old to make a replacement queen, so in their desperation they will draw queen cells that contain only drone eggs laid by the workers.

This is a very confusing sign if the beekeeper has not been attentive and missed the change in population dynamics by way of regular inspections. It is imperative that the beekeeper act on the situation, though, as the colony is fated to die out.

Know what a good brood frame looks like by practicing attentive observation on a queen right hive. A laying worker hive can be remedied by newspapering in a swarm, putting the queen right colony under the queen-less colony with a double screen board and leaving the stack for two weeks, then combining them. There are a number of additional fix-its; Michael Bush’s site has an exhaustive list of the many remedies at http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

In closing, frequent inspections year-round is the key along with on-going education.

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2 DAY Queen Rearing Workshop with Les Crowder

If you are interested in the mysterious task of rearing queens perhaps you would like to join Les Crowder and OneStrongHive for a TWO DAY WORKSHOP! We will do some first hand queen cup making, grafting and all that bringing these precious gals into being entails.

This will be a two day workshop on Saturday and Sunday the 8th and 9th of March, from 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM each day. 

The price for the 2 day workshop is $130 and it will take place in Silver Lake, California. Payment can be made in advance with PayPal (payments to: oramomi@gmail.com) or you can pay with cash or check at the workshop in person.

RSVP
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/675162239191982/
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/HoneyLove/events/165698232/

Queen Rearing Workshop

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WATCH: How to capture a swarm of honey bees

Subscribe to HoneyLove’s YouTube Channel here —> http://full.sc/MRAY21

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Ravelry: Queen Bee knitting pattern ? 

Thank you @Beeclef for sending!!

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HoneyLove Bee Rescue @ Venice Grind - 06/25/12
 

Why were the bees attracted to that spot you ask?
There was a big empty container of Lemon Grass Oil… which happens to be the exact same thing we use in our Swarm Boxes… because it mimics the queen pheromone scent! 
 

Favorite quote from a boy watching the rescue: 
“I want to have that job” 

?!!!

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BURNOUT BABYDOLL: QUEEN BEE – by TooFast

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NEW BOOK!

Thank you so much Hal Ackerman for generously donating a copy of your book “Stein, Stung“ to our HoneyLove Library!! Here is a sneak peak:
  

APILOGUE

My mother was a queen and I am a queen. I was nurtured in a queen’s chamber. Catered to. Cleansed. Fed a steady diet of royal jelly. One of my sisters was born in a royal chamber, too. Our destiny was to meet. Oh, yes. We met. And she is no more. Her will was weak. Her body snapped under mine. The battle was ghastly and short. Only my mother the queen now stands in the way of my destiny. I seek her out. She knows why I have come. I place my young, fertile body against the aging brittle shell of hers. There is room for only one of us. She tests my will and I hurl her down. I would do what is needed but allow her to choose exile. She signals her followers. They leave in tens, in thousands. I will never see her again. The past is gone. There is only the future.

The scent of my pheromones becomes the new tone key of the hive. It is my colony. My entourage will anticipate and attend to my every need. My sole purpose will be to become an object of desire. There will be an evening, warm and gentle, when I will make my virgin flight into the world. The air will be dizzy with fragrance, none more erotic than my own. He will find me. He will be drawn to me out of the air. He will descend upon me in flight. When I have taken from him every cell he has to give he will fall away and I will be taken by another. He will encircle me, beating his frantic wings. He must have me. Yes, I will say to him, yes and yes. And when he is done there is another who must have me or die. And he will have me or die. A dozen males will have me. And when I return to the colony the future is within me. I will never again return to the outside.

I will lay eggs. Filling every chamber with my legacy. My genes. My pitch. Legions of incomplete females and stingerless males. From the moment they break through the wax, their lives will be a succession of services to me all the days of their lives. They will clean the nursery. They will tend the brood. They will construct new comb to store honey for the winter. Their wings will beat in unison and keep the colony at perfect temperature. They will search for nectar and pollen that will feed us. They will explore for miles. They will return with unerring accuracy. They will ride on currents of light and fluctuations of heat and magnetism, scent and ultra violet. They will guard against invaders. They will fight for me to the death. Tens of thousands may die that I shall live. So it must be. I am the future. I am the life. I am the heartbeat. I am the essence. I will lay two hundred thousand eggs this summer and the next and the next. Among them shall be the one who will be destined to supplant me. If she lives.

The queen is dead. Long live the queen.


If you are interested in borrowing a book from the HoneyLove Library…
Send us an email: info [at] honeylove [dot] org

[click here to view on amazon.com]

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Art by Lea Bradovich
via andphotography

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Honey Bee Braids Wig

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WE JUST REACHED 700 ONLINE SIGNATURES!! Please help us to legalize beekeeping!!
http://www.change.org/petitions/help-legalize-beekeeping-in-mar-vista 
(you do not need to live in Los Angeles to sign – please pass it on!!)

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