Saturday, September 13, 2008

The most aggrevatin'-ist thing - part 2

The re-queening is finished. Long live the new queens!

It was the most frustrating part of beekeeping that I have encountered since I started, and I cannot claim total success, but at least it's done.

ALERT: Technical beekeeping info (skip this if you're not interested)

The method of finding the old queen that Coley O'Dell described (and I referred to in the previous post) went something like this: Set up a hive box with a queen excluder covering the bottom. Shake (or brush) the bees off the frame and into the box. Apply smoke. The worker bees will fly out of the box while the queen, heavy with eggs, is likely to stay there. Then she will be easier to spot.

I did that, and it worked with one box and didn't with another. It didn't work, I think, because I am not adept at spotting a queen yet. She could have been in there, and I just didn't see her. With the other box, I had to cover the top with a queen excluder and let the bees filter themselves out over night. They did, and the next day I spotted the queen and killed her.


So, I have new queens in all of the hives, and they still have a good bit of the fall foraging season left. One of the hives (Hive 3) is so strong that it has already begun to cap some honey. With any luck, all of the hives will be in good shape to go into the winter,


Chuck Warnock said...

So, what do you call it when you kill the queen, apparently without a tinge of guilt -- regicide? Apicide? Does this lead to a coup d'hive? Just curious. Let me hear from you...-Chuck

Jim Stovall said...

Apiary regicide.

I think I had a hard time finding the old queens because of a clique of royalist bees who were hiding the queen.

Bill Dockery said...

My daddy didn't requeen unless a stand lost its queen. He depended on the workers to feed the royal jelly and produce a new queen at the appropriate time.