Queen Bee Rules

Bringing pollen back to the hive.
Bringing pollen back to the hive.

After leaving the honeybees alone for a few days to let them get settled in, I opened the hive on Friday all suited up and nervous.

Smoking the bees prior to opening the hive.
Smoking the bees prior to opening the hive.

I checked the cage that had held the Queen and, to my immense relief, it was empty. Yea! They released her!

Burr comb on the empty Queen's cage.
Burr comb on the empty Queen's cage.

Burr comb is random, wild comb that the bees build in between two frames where it shouldn’t be. I had to carefully pull out the empty Queen cage because it would have caused all kinds of headaches later on when I tried to remove it from the frames it would have been stuck to.

The middle 4 frames had comb, and some pollen as far as I could tell. I think I spotted the Queen on the middle frame. I should have checked for eggs and larvae, but I was so excited to see her that I kind of forgot. Then I thought, “What if she falls off?” So I freaked out and put the frame back too soon. (No wonder my husband’s pet name for me is “Freak.”) I promise I will get better at this bee stuff!

A word of advice, pack your smoker! I ran out of fuel and those girls knew it, they were all lined up, heads peeping out between the frames, eyeing me. When the smoke tapered off they started really swirling around me. Time to go!

One of my girls gathering pollen from the pussy willows.
One of my girls gathering pollen from the pussy willows.

Saturday was beautiful, warm, and the bees were happily bringing home the pollen. I searched the property to find where they were getting the deep yellow-orange pollen I saw on their bodies and I believe it was from the pussy willows down by the swamp. Last year I had bad thoughts about those trees, but now anything the bees like, I like. The bees have changed my mind on a few things around here. I guess the Queen does rule!

2 thoughts on “Queen Bee Rules

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  1. I just installed my first two hives yesterday – – I was surprised how hard it is to wait to see what they’re doing in there! One I can’t open until next Monday or Tuesday – but other I’ll open Friday (I didn’t dump the bees in – just put the box in – so I need to take the box out and put the frames back in on Friday).

    enjoy!

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