Monday, July 19, 2010
THE QUEENS HAVE ARRIVED
A few weeks ago we came to the conclusion that our hives might be missing their queens. The bees seemed healthy enough however we couldn't locate a queen bee - they are larger than all of the others - and we couldn't find the eggs that would be the sign that she was around.
So two new queens were ordered on Friday. Instead of driving the 3 or 4 hours to pick them up, we had them express posted to us in the mail. They arrived the following Monday, each in a small cage accompanied by a couple of their "attendants". The tiny cages were packed into an envelope and sent off to us.
When we got the queens we introduced them to their new hives while still in their cages. Each one has a small sugary plug in the end of it which stops the queen from escaping quickly. Over the span of a few days they eat through the sugary plug and then are free to move into their new home. This slower integration gives all the bees a chance to acquaint themselves with each other gradually.
It's been close to a week since the new bees arrived. We'll wait a few more days to check and see how things are going. It will be a good sign if we see some freshly laid eggs.