This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking for Queen Acceptence after hiving a package.

This is a new frame about 10 days from when the bees started working on it. The bees start at the top and work their way down a frame. This frame has black foundation.
photo by T Driggers

After putting in a package of bees they need to establish themselves in the hive. I don't look inside at all.
I know that seven days after hiving them I have to go back and open up the hive while wearing Protective clothing and a lit smoker. This is looking for queen acceptance.
I know that failure to check for queen acceptance will lead to possibly the death of the colony.
I will start at the side where no bees are and remove a frame or two. Then I gently slide the frames back until I get to where the cluster of bees are. Removing one of these core frames I will scan it for eggs. I look at the frames until I find them. Once the eggs are found there is no reason to look any further. I know the queen is alive within the last three days.
One has to resist the temptation of looking for the queen. The more the frames are disturbed the odds of accidentally killing her go up.
If I see eggs I know the queen has been accepted.
If I don't see eggs I close up the hive and come back three days later. Again I will look for eggs. If I see them I am good to go. If there still is no eggs I know she is dead and I will need a new queen.
A new queen would be installed with the slow release method. A marshmallow is not a slow release. Candy in the queen cage is the proper method.
Opening a hive more than once a week will lead to queen supersedure and will adversely affect the hives ability to survive.