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Removing the Queen Cages | Speedkin

Removing the Queen Cages

I showed Steve how to work the camera so that I could suit up & help Charlie add the inner covers & remove the queen cages a few days after the recent installation.  I also cracked open Max, the %@&*(@# Carniolans, to check out the details.  It wasn’t pretty.    We spotted a very few pupae and a few capped drone cells.  Ew.  Not looking good.

Here’s the ventilated inner covers Steve made.  He made them with entrances (the side facing away from us in the following pic so not really visible here) so that all of the new hives will have top entrances, plus room for a boardman feeder & the small service entrance at the bottom.

Being without an inner cover for a couple of days meant that the outer covers had bees clustering inside them.  Dumb me laid the first one upside down while oohing and ahhing over the bees in the box and, by the time I was ready to put the lid back on, the bees had spread all over the sides & corners.  Doh.  Chalk that one up to a newbie mistake.  We left that one alone while we finished the other hives (with me leaving the lid NOT upside down on those!) and then came back to brush them out of the squishable areas.  I think I heard a few dozen bees calling me really nasty names by the time we walked away.

Except for the lid incident, it was pretty smooth sailing from there on out.

The bees (not involved in the lid incident) were all nice & calm, settling in well.

No messy comb building around the queen cages which I had expected.

We didn’t pull but a couple of frames because we didn’t want to pester them too much while trying to get established.  No funky comb to be seen because of all of the foundationless… yet.

When setting up the hives, we did put one frame of plasticell in each hive.  I’d read that bees much prefer to build their own comb over building on foundation but, apparently, these particular bees hadn’t read that.  This hive had a big ol’ clump of bees all over the plasticell frame.  There were still plenty of others doing up the foundationless in the same hive.  Maybe one of these days, we’ll get these nutty bees all figured out.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go learn how to edit video.  We had two swarms yesterday and we got some video!  Woo hoo!  I feel so studly.

3 Responses to “Removing the Queen Cages”

  1. Jessica April 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Nice pictures, Steve!

  2. Jessica April 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    I want to thank you for all the beekeeping posts. It rained today so I had time to read EVERYthing, not just look at the pictures. I looked up a beekeeping class in our are and just missed it by a couple of weeks ( only 2o miles away too!). You’ve really inspired us to get into this. So thanks for your time in sharing.

    • Diane April 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

      Glad to hear you’re getting interested in beekeeping! Sorry you missed that bee class — that stinks. If you find your local beekeeping club/association, I bet you’d learn a lot from going to their meetings. We took the class last year and this year and learned great things but we’ve learned the most, by far, by attending our local club’s monthly meetings. The members are amazing and always willing to answer all of our nutty questions. I hope yours is as great as ours!

      Oh, and a great link for learning beekeeping online in the meantime: http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/ They have over 100 lessons online — for free. Good stuff.

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