As I was purchasing the new frames to fill the deep boxes I planned to add to my hives last weekend, I mentioned to the apiary owner that I might have lost a queen. He says, no problem, look behind you. There on a filing cabinet was a freshly arrived postal box chock full of queen boxes.
A queen box is just as it states, a box with a queen in it. The box is enclosed on three sides and has screen on the fourth so workers can feed her, I presume. In one end of the box, is a plastic tube. In the tube is sugar candy. The theory is that by the time the workers eat enough candy to meet the queen, who is also eating candy, they should be on friendly terms and the new queen should have the run of the house.
As you found out in my last post, I was pretty sure my hive was without a queen. Monday morning bright and early, I headed back to the local apiary to obtain a new queen. The interesting thing is, I have no idea if this queen has mated or not. I really need to call and ask. I just assumed it was a virgin queen. I am not sure if they sell laying queens. I will definitely look that one up.
When I purchased the queen, the guy who sold it to me did not seem to know how to put her in properly. He said just pull out the tube of candy and let her go. I just nodded my head, took the queen and left.
I arrived at the hives and was worried that the queen would not have anywhere to lay with all the frames being filled with honey so I added the second deep box to the hive but mixed it up a bit to try to keep everyone happy.
I took the honey filled box and removed one frame from it and replaced that with an empty frame. I then took the honey frame and added it near the center of the new box. So I have 9 empty frames and one with honey. I place the queen box at the top of this frame and place that box on the bottom of the hive. I then put the honey filled box on top of the hive. I sure hope I didn't mess things up too much. I was just worried that the queen would not have laying room and I figured the bees would need all that honey. I will keep an eye on them and let you know how they are getting along.
Thursday I will head out there and see if the queen is out. If it looks like this hive is going to fail, as last resort I will combine it with my other hive.
At the same time, I am putting my name out there for catching swarms. I have two extra nucs that need bees in them. Hopefully, I will get a call soon from someone with a swarm that needs removed.