24 July 2012

Excitement in the Bee Yard - Requeening

We are requeening our hives using Steve R's no-kill method. On the right, the Big Purple hive and the new purple nucleus hive. The nuc. hive contains the new Russian queen from Olympic Apiaries, along with ready-to-hatch brood and a lot of young workers from the Purple hive, and honey. Later in the summer we'll combine the two hives, with the nuc. hive and young queen on top.

On the left, the combined Blue swarm hive and the Pink hive from which it originally came.We are recombining the two so that the young queen in Pink can be the queen of the whole colony. Right now there's a double-screen board between the two colonies, but in 2 weeks we'll remove it and spray with syrup and Honey-B-Healthy to make them all smell the same (yummy) and stimulate feeding, grooming, and good vibes.

This method allows you to requeen without killing the old queen, or even finding her. Putting the new queen on top and making sure she has lots of workers and a strong colony on her side seems to be the trick.