Beemused: A Blog

Day 5: The Rescue of the Queen

16th May 2007

Day 5: The Rescue of the Queen

posted in Our Hives |

This morning J peeked under Susan’s outer cover, into the empty-but-for-queen-cage second hive body. And it the queen cage was still crawling with bees, which told us both that Susan’s workers really like her queen a lot, and that it was likely that Susan’s queen was still in the cage. The candy plug was gone, and we had seen no obvious reason why she’s still be in the cage, and the workers clearly wanted her out and into the hive and laying… but in the cage she was.

We decided that is was remotely possible that a dead bee had gotten wedged in where the candy had been, so she couldn’t get out. This seemed unlikely, since there were definitely more bees in the cage than there had been- it was stuffed, sort of like a clown car- but a queen is a bit bigger than a worker, diameter-wise, so it was possible. Therefore the best thing to do was to peel off the mesh over the top of the cage, allowing everyone to get out easily. We figured that when the screen was gone, she’d head down into her attractive new digs.

So J bravely donned the veil and went in to rescue Susan’s queen. Let me just say that bees are ungrateful wretches, and despite the fact that he was rescuing her from Durance Vile, Susan’s girls were pissed off that anyone was messing with their queen. No stinging, but lots of buzzing around and banging off his veil. Fortunately, cutting through the screen was quick and he replaced everything in very little time.

About 3 hours later, I just peeked into Susan myself, and the queen cage is now empty but for a couple of workers, and there is lots of activity in the hive that I can see through the hole in the inner cover. So, I believe success was achieved!

I could not see any signs that anything was blocking her egress, by the way. So I send email to J letting him know that all seems well, and speculating that maybe Susan’s queen is just really, really dumb, even for a bee.

So he emailed me back: “As long as she’s a good lay(er), who cares if she’s dumb? (did I just say that???)”

*snort* I did warn him I would be posting that comment!

The girls have, all told, gone through over 24 pounds of syrup now, and have eaten at least a third of the pollen patties we put in each hive. The latter is a really good sign, since I believe the pollen patties are mostly used to feed brood. :)

-Amanda

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 at 10:15 am and is filed under Our Hives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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