RIP Queen Freddie
|Precious cargo onboard|
Needless to say I didn't have a brilliant night's sleep last night knowing that I had to dispatch of Queen Freddie in the morning. Being a new beekeeper I've never had to carry out any Royal beheadings... until now.
I dropped the husband off at work, who gave me strict instructions that he didn't want any 'bee mess' in his new car, and drove over to Harbury to pick up my new Queen and her small colony. John Home gave me the box of bees and said that he'd better tape it up to prevent any getting out while I drove them to their new home. That would have been a serious bee emergency! None did escape (phew) but I do have to admit, that it was very bizarre driving 9 miles with a box 5,000 buzzing bees in the passenger seat foot well.
As the Beehaus is essentially two hives in one, the plan was to take out the small removable section of the divider board and replace it with newspaper. For those non bee-geeks - you can't just stick a new colony with another one as bees get used to a certain queen's pheromone or scent and might kill a new queen if she didn't smell right. So, by putting newspaper between the two colonies, as the bees nibble their way through the paper the Queen's pheromone starts wafting around and the new bees get used to her and then eventually accept her as their own.
|Newspaper in the removable section of the divider board|
|Lots of dead bees :(|
So, then I had to open the bee box and get the new bees into the hive. In the meantime I had been wafting smoke around as I wanted calmness especially as the buzzing in the box was getting louder. When I did open the lid, the bees flew straight up but I tried to be very quick. As I was putting the new frames into the hive I did notice that there was sealed brood, which is a very good sign. I didn't see the Queen (what should I call this one?) but as I was being speedy I'm sure she stayed on the frames and didn't drop off. I then quickly closed them up and put a 1:1 sugar syrup solution above the opening in the cover board of the new hive and put the roof on.
|Feeder on top of the opening in the crown board|
|If nothing else, they have a beautiful new home with blue bells to admire|
|One of my new ladies coming up to say hi (more likely telling me to bugger off)|