A Queen is born! And a honey update

The cold wet weather has meant that I haven’t been able to inspect our hives in Hendon until today. As soon as I opened the hive that I artificially swarmed a couple of weeks ago I could hear a virgin queen “piping”. Some people call it quacking, but whatever you call it, it sounds like high pitched morse code!

She was there, on the first brood frame I lifted out. The workers had removed a flap of wax at the end of the queen cell and she was just peeping out.

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Within in a few seconds she marched out – isn’t she beautiful?!

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I’m now hoping for a calm, warm day over the next week so she can safely take her mating flight. We will know if she has made it successfully if we see eggs being laid in the comb in a few weeks.

For all you lovely, patent people who have been in touch wanting to know when we’ll have some honey available – here is the news:

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The bees are working very hard bringing in nectar – you can see it glistening in the comb. Once the honey has the right water content so that it won’t ferment,the bees cap it with wax – you can see that they have started to cap this frame already. It is difficult to judge exactly how long it will be before there is enough to extract, because it is so weather dependent, but the day is coming closer!

 

3 thoughts on “A Queen is born! And a honey update

  1. beeseeker

    fascinating stuff.
    Do you have to wait for the queen to leave, or is there an alternative (such as taking out the old queen?)
    Excuse I if this is a stupid question.

    Reply
    1. Helen Rogers Post author

      This hive had been artificially swarmed, which involved splitting the hive into 2 hives. The old queen is put into one with the foragers, the brood and nurse bees are put into the other. This queen is emerging in the hive with the brood – she will become their new queen.

      Reply

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