The Queen is dead, long live the Queen!
Posted by Darwish 12 years ago
The new queen arrived today, in a cage with seven attendants. The queen is marked with a blue tag, indicating that she was born in 2005. Vinfille took a picture of the cage, sitting on her desk. You can see the blue tag on the queen's thorax:  
 
 
 
So we placed the cage in the hive, wedged between two frames of foundation. Immediately, bees began mobbing the cage, biting the wire and trying to get to the queen. We wished her luck and put the cover back on the hive. In four days, I will visit the hive to see if they have accepted her yet, and release her if they have.  
 
Of course, I could not resist peeking into the other hive to see how they are doing. Almost all the frames in the top hive body have been drawn out, and the hive is crowded with bees. Very happy-making for the new beekeeper! This weekend, I will perform a full reversal and add an empty honey super on top. Soon I will have yummy, yummy comb honey.  
 
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Fluffy:  
That's exciting...I hope the new Queen works out.  
 
Have you gotten stung getting into your hives yet? Is it pretty much unavoidable?
Darwish: I have been stung a total of three times. Only one time was I stung while inspecting the hives. And that sting was the result of inexperience. The other two times, I was near the hives and a bee flew into my hair and got stuck. Apparently, bees do not like getting stuck in hair.  
 
Yeah, receiving bee stings is unavoidable. If you want honey, you will have to pay for it. But the amazing thing is how rarely I have been stung. I have cracked open those hives on several occasions, blew smoke all over the bees, pulled out every single frame, stuck my nose right into the comb, and probably killed scores and scores of bees on accident. And all of this while I am wearing neither veil nor gloves. And yet, they seem almost completely unconcerned with me.  
 
I will write more about this later, I think, because apparently the attitude of the bees changes completely when it comes time to harvest the honey. When there is less nectar coming into the hive, and someone removes the full honey supers, that tends to agitate them.
Fluffy:  
You don't wear gloves or a veil? Do you plan to when you're collecting honey or removing supers or switching frames? I'm impressed that you've only been stung 3 times...you must be one low-key dude. Still, do you ever feel like you're kinda playing with fire? What happens if the bees all decide you're a threat all at once?
Darwish: Yes, I do sometimes feel that I am playing with fire. I have been sting several times in the last few days. I chalk it up to inexperience. If they start to freak out and sting, just walk away and remove the stings. It's best to walk into some tree branches or bushes to confuse the bees. Smoke the site of the stings and go back to work.  
 
Also, don't inspect the bees when someone has been mowing nearby recently. Mowing makes for unhappy bees.
mmm...honey
sandwoman13: It's exciting to read about your bees. I'm scared of them and I think it's in part due to my lack of involvement with them and that I've never been stung.
deathburger: Never picked one up when you were a little hid then, huh? I thought that was a shildhood right-of-passage. :)
Cool!
darkstar: She comes with her own entourage!  
 
Just like a diva...