Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Long Live The Queen

On Thursday all the bees were installed into the hive but one last step in the installation still had to occur.  We needed to get the queen cage out of the hive after she had exited it.  But first the bees from the outside of the cage and the bees from the inside had to eat the sugar candy blocking the cage's entrance.  When I opened up the hive I was excited to see that they had already started to make the hive their home, building up comb and packing pollen into cells.  Unfortunately our queen, Victoria, was still in the cage because the candy hadn't been eaten through yet.  So I put the cage back and decided to go back into the hive on Tuesday for a second try.

 They started building some comb in the feeder.  As it is right now it's not a big deal but if they really start filling it out I might have  to remove it.

 Comb the ladies are working on building out.

Then on Tuesday after work when I went back into the hive I found that the bees had eaten through all of the candy and Queen Victoria had entered the hive!  I was really happy to find that she had been able to get out on her own.  If she hadn't exited the cage at this point I would have had to manually open up the candy end, put the cage back in.  Then go back in again today to retrieve the cage and space the frames properly. 

I really didn't want to go into the hive three days in a row, and today we are supposed to receive significant rain which would delay being able to get into the hive.  If you leave the frames spaced improperly too long the bees will begin to build crazy comb configurations.
A welcomed sight, an empty queen cage.

It's hard to tell from this picture but in just a day they have definitely built the comb out significantly more. 

From all the rain we have been getting the copper top is already a bit patina.


  1. whoa! so cool! do any bees fly out when you open it?

  2. Yes they do but the ones that don't get put back in when I reassemble the hive fly back in through the front entrance.