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Today I set my queens free!


#1

Hived our packages 5 days ago. Neither queen had been freed, so I set them free today.

One of them came right out, crawled over my hand and into the hive. The other didn’t emerge from the box, but I cleared the cork and placed her box back inside.

Very cool experience.

Apologies for my bumbling ineptness in the video, my first bees ya know!

Checking on the queens


#2

This post concerns me a little… Is this a suggested method of introducing queens in some parts of the world? :worried:


#3

No, I had placed them down in the hive the normal way, to let them come out through the candy. However, the bees hadn’t freed either queen, so it was time to remove the other cork from the non candy end.

I hadn’t intended to have her come out and crawl on me, but she did.


#4

I don’t understand why you didn’t wait for the candy to be removed?


#5

The class I took said that if she’s not out in 5 days, to open the other end and release her.


#6

They probably preferred the sugar water to the plug. Well done for a first inspection Tripp, especially involving your family. I would have used a lot less smoke, but beeks must discover their own strategies.


#7

Tripp,

Welcome to the world of Beekeeping. Looks n sounds like you have your family envolved too ! Starting with a pair of hives was a great choice.

Interesting both queens were not out all already. Bees will be bees ! I’m guessing you started with 2 packages of bees. I watched n didn’t see aggression against the queen. You did a good job following the clubs directions. Do you have a mentor available if things get ahead of you ? I might suggest next time just removing almost all the candy plug n giving the colony one or two more days then releasing … But you did G👀d ! When working with your queen always keep her n that cage totally over the hive. Dropping her outside the hive box can be bad news if she gets alway, lost or accidently stepped on. But congrats ! Your off n running.

One last thot on releasing… I would have rehung the cage… If the queen is not totally accept the protect warmth of the cluster might not be available. Just a thot for future times :+1:. The bottom area can be damp n cool for her magesty.

As for the leaking … Not sure with your style top-feeder but I’ve been able to swish a bit of hot bee wax around the interior n patch a quick small leak quickly (of course you have to dump out sugar water, rinse n quickly dry). Only takes few minutes if you prep ahead. I have had one that started leaking. This method was a quick fix !

Keep us up-to-date ! Enjoyed the Video. By the way where are you basicly located? It helps in extending you better advice as each region can be so different. You might go back n add that to your name n info …

Good luck n happy beekeeping bro,
Gerald


#8

Thank you for the kind words Gerald!

Yes, 2 packages, there’s a video up there somewhere of me hiveing them from last week as well. I figure “film” is cheap these days!

I’m going to stay out of the hive for a week now, and hopefully those queens will start laying some brood!


#9

Tripp,

Good plan … Let them have a week to play ! I think you used foundationless, right ?! If you have a good nectar flow you’ll see great progress n not bad progress off your sugar-water … Just don’t let the top-feeders go dry. They can really suck that syrup up !

In a week check careful that they haven’t got creative n built some cross comb. Little deviations can be corrected but big stuff is just waist n goes in your wax collection bucket.

I going to try a few frames without foundation but going to space between frames that have either comb or foundation … That really UPs the chances of straight drawn honey comb. I’m always trying something unique n new to myself ! That stretches me in my beekeeping experiences. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, my mom use to say.

I’m going to see if I can find your first vid too bro ! :+1:.

Cheers n have a great weekend,
Gerald.

P.S. Wish me luck. I have a very very small cluster of wintered over bees. They are in a larger 10 frame Langstroth hive. It’s suppose to get near the low 60’s. So hoping to transfer to a smaller 5 frame wooden Nuc box I built this winter. Ta Ta ! :ok_hand:


#10

Good luck Gerald!

Actually, I am used plastic foundations with wax on them. Let’s say that for my first time at this, I was trying to cut out some variables.


#11

Tripp, good choice ! I tried plastic n wired wax. Really didn’t see much diff between the two. Plastic is stronger n easier to get straight n wax give the bee better back n forth passages as the often leave holes at sides or bottom open.

Your making good strides ! About what part of the world you live in bro ?? I’m up SE of Seattle about 20 ms here.

Ta Ta,
Gerald


#12

Stafford, Virginia. Midway between Richmond and Washington.

I’ll feel a lot better if I see evidence of two queenright hives when I go in next Saturday. Nice thing about those hivetop feeders, is I can fill them without really disturbing the hive. It just takes opening the top.


#13

Evening Tripp,

Pretty cool videos n love your audience ! :+1:. You did great shaking those “Girls” in the hive. It’s been ages n decades since I
shook a package into a hive. That use to be the one n only way short of catching feral /wild bees.

I’ve choose to buy working Nuc’s as the queen n workers are actually a small already working group. Because our summer n season can be short n cool the Nuc gives me a jump on it. I’m hoping the Nuc I wintered over here at my apiary even gives me a couple more weeks ahead.

I’ve got two thots or comments … First: I’d really blouse or tap your pant legs up. My dad didn’t once. Surprise ! Several crawled up the inner pants legs n stung him in his personal area. That had to hurt but as a young teen kid … It was Funny as you know what seeing my dad exit his britches n yelling his head off running for our house about a100 yards from our small 6 to 8 hive apiary. :smile:
The second item I noticed was. Do uou have inner covers/criwnboards ? I didn’t see those used in any of your videos. The purpose of those inner board is to let the bees glue the cover down n not your roofs … It’s really not fun trying to unglue a roof ! Been there and done that one. I’d get those on n either block the hole with wire or many people choose to set a piece of wood or thin brick. I choosed choosed blocking mine with wire. I’ve many people on the forum with bees building creative comb in the roof attic area. The wood/stone/brick prevents that issue from becoming a happening ! Enough for now.

That was about the only thots n Obs I saw idea think of pointing out. The rest is a matter of good memories n your family history.

Take care now :honeybee:,
Gerald.


#14

Goodday Sir Gerald,
Just a thought about the hole in the board under the roof. Somebody told me to put a brick over when I started, but I took it away, because it didn’t feel right.
Then I watched the bees chase the beetles up there and propolise them into the corners.
Then 3 months later they started building beautiful comb in the attic and I knew they needed space. So we ate the honeycomb, harvested a couple of flow frames and gave them a foundationless ideal box on top of the flow box. Since then they never built up there in the attic again, but if they do, I know they need more space.
That’s why I don’t block that attic hole. But that’s over here in the warm parts of the world.


#15

Morning from the States,

Good point ! But only my Flow-hive has a peaked garden roof with access. I have two more garden style roofs that has a 1/4" board (sort of like our ceiling) so I would not be able to see or access the attic area at all. So I choose to screen the hole. We have some wax moth activity n the can enter at main entrances or from above. The screen keeps this waxy loving critters at bay/out ! But it does allow for a bit of ventilation … Up here we run the multi-box system so try to catch expansion n needs for room by adding or subtracting boxes. I usually try to inspect my colonies every two weeks thus the colony doesn’t get ahead as I try to use the 80% rule then add … By screening during our spring thru Early autumn it prevents access for neighboring robber bees.

But I also think ! If the open hole n bee access works for you n your apiary … Go with that idea by all means !! :ok_hand::exclamation:️ Up here in my situation it invites too many other issues. Thankz for your ideas n thots my friend. Keep them coming. Sharing is learning ! I’m guessing you are readying/preparing for winter or is your flow year around ??

Ta Ta n enjoy your weekend,
Gerald


#16

Not sure yet what the bees think of our winters. I went to Germany once in July/August and their summer was so much colder than our toasty winter here at the same time. We never get frosts. Only got my bees this summer, so time will give experience.
It’s interesting that I think when my bees go up the attic, they go there to tell me of their progress.
I only have a bottom entrance, maybe the attic acts like air conditioning?
Some people put a screen mesh over the hole. But then the bees can’t chase the SHB to death up there.
Works for me now. As time goes by I might learn of other issues and change my mind. My Dad always said women can change their mind any time, it’s their job. Hmpf.


#17

I have inner covers in my kit, but with those top feeders, I’m not to use them.

The top feeder keeps them away from the telescoping cover, and using them under the feeders would be bad, as the nook for food is at the end, not the middle.


#18

We’ve named the queens!

The queen in the orange (Volunteers) hive is “Pat Summitt.”

The queen in the brown hive is “Zoe.”


#19

Update: Both queens are out and doing their jobs! Give it another week and a half or so, those new girls will start hatching! I am so excited!

Lots of drawn comb. The brown hive had enough, that I put on a second brood box.

I didn’t spot the queens, but they are clearly in there. If someone sees them in the pictures, please point them out to me.

Here are a couple pics…