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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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time to check for queen acceptance from the second load

Young and old larvae.

If the bees are blocking your view of the cells, lightly blow on them. They will move out of the way.
Eggs can easily seen on the black foundation. This is a nice pattern. Most of the cells have eggs, good laying pattern, very good queen.
The queen is in the lower left of the frame laying an egg

Eggs in the cells, they are white and attached to the back of the cell.

New comb on foundation. Note the pollen and the syrup in the upper part of the frame.

I will be checking my new packages for queen acceptance this weekend. I will be looking for eggs and small larvae. Looking at the frame of eggs, the cells should be full in a nice concentric circle with a good solid pattern filling most of the cells in the lower two thirds part of the frame. The upper part of the frame is usually the place the bees store pollen and nectar.
This is probably the most important thing to check for after hiving a package. Failure to check for queen acceptance can lead to the package turning to laying workers if no queen is present. After two to three weeks of hiving and no queen pheromone is present, workers ovaries can develop and they will start laying eggs. Being they have not been mated, all of the eggs are unfertilized and will be drones. Once the hive turns to laying workers it is almost impossible to turn them around.
I know if I see eggs and small larvae I have a laying queen present. I don't have to see the queen to know she is there. If I don't see this I will close up the hive and check again on Monday. If I still don't see eggs I have to assume that I am queenless and the bees did not accept the queen. I will put in a new queen using the slow release method and hope she takes.

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