Sunday, May 08, 2005

Trashy Queen!

Last night I found a queen that had escaped into my bathroom trash... I couldn't believe it!! I rushed out and got a queen cage with some sugar in it, which I softened with a drop of water, and put her and a seemingly lethargic worker in it. Both revived with the soft sugar. I went out after Sun Sch and started looking in each Nuc for the worker I must have installed instead of the queen I found.
Later: Well, I looked at all the queens in the Nucs and none are workers. I have to suppose that I got an extra, probably unmated, queen mixed in with the workers accompanying the queens. If I did, and I hardly credit that I did, I should be glad.
Also, I found a queen that I missed, or that was out mating when I moved around the hives and opened them to make these ten Nucs. Who knows. Anyway I now end the day with three queens. I need to make up two more Nucs and replace the "Found" queen in the nuc she was found in. My notes this year consist of penciling on the side of the hive. Not sophisticated, but I won't lose them.
I made up these nucs on the 5th of May and so when I find any eggs I suspect a queen. Finding Queen cells with larvae along with no eggs mean the nuc (small hive) is queenless. I'll keep these queens overnight, with some workers to feed them and go into the nucs that I had doubts about tomorrow and even Tuesday, if necessary. If they aren't queenless they won't accept a new queen.
If the queen I got by mistake was unmated she may be past the mating phase by the time she is released. If she was unmated they should not react to her like a mated queen because she doesn't smell strongly enough. All the queens I found in the nucs were drawing very strong responses from the workers, i.e. the workers were flying to the queen cage and crawling all over it, licking the queen, etc. I was supposed to get marked queens, but only half were marked. If they were all marked I could sort it out! Oh well, back to the Bee yard to make up two nucs so they will settle down overnight and I'll put these two queens in them in the early AM. And then to give the hive back their queen I stole. They know within minutes when the queen is gone... No queen smell. So I'd better do that first

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