Inspection 26 June 2005
Posted by Darwish 13 years ago
Yesterday afternoon I conducted a hive inspection. One hive is still doing very well, but I suspect that one of the hives is not queenright. That is, the hive is either missing a queen entirely, or the queen is sick or injured, and unable to lay eggs. Clearly, this is very frustrating.  
So today I ordered a new queen from Glenn Apiaries. They are shipping me a Minnesota Hygienic/SMR queen cross. She should be here on Wednesday, and I will introduce her as soon as I am able. She needs to start laying eggs as quickly as possible, since the loss of the old queen means that there will be no new bees emerging until at least 21 days after the new queen is accepted by the hive. Thus, the hive population will be dwindling from at least now until the time that new bees begin emerging from their cells. This can be a problem.  
Insha Allah, introducing the new queen will go well, and the bees will be back on track to get through the winter.
I'm enjoying...
...following the Saga of the Bees!
cornpone: just curious. what would happen if a queen was introduced to a hive already containing a queen?
deathburger: My money is on "fight to the death".
Darwish: I think what would happen is that the bees would not acccept the new, foreign queen and "ball" her. That is, the bees would form a tight cluster around her and sting her to death.  
When introducing the new queen, I will keep her in the shipping cage. The shipping cage has a candy plug in one end which the bees can chew through in a couple of days or so. This allows the queen's pheromones to spread throughout the hive and for the bees to accept her.  
I get the impression that re-queeing a hive is fraught with difficulty, and can be inexplicably unsuccesful. I am a bit nervous about this whole thing.
deathburger: Good luck with it, be sure to give us a sting-by-sting of what happens! (hopefully without any actual stinging)
I would think that the whole thing would be more likely to fail than to succeed, but maybe I'm confusing ants with bees. All the bees in a hive are generally the offspring of the queen, aren't they? So to introduce a new queen, she basically has to convince a whole bunch of somebody else's children that she's the new mom, and she has to chemically exert control over all the functions of the hive while adapting to new incredibly stressful conditions (like there's a whole hive of bees that want to sting her to death, and they're chewing down the door). This has got to be one talented queen bee...I wish you (and her) luck.
deathburger: Had to look it up: In Sha ' Allah = If Allah Wills
fabulon7: You can mail-order a queen? Cool.
vinfille: Does he come with his own outfits, makeup and wigs, or do you have to provide them?