The queen has arrived

I had to requeen a couple of hives – both because the queens went missing, and one of which had a laying worker issue – and I added a mated queen to another, to bypass having the workers build one of their own, which can be an iffy thing.

Two hives went queenless, and a third was a split I’d made off a larger hive. When i went out to check on queen releases, all had been released by the workers – but I couldn’t find two of them. The queen in the split I found readily enough, but she was not yet laying. The other two? No dice, even taking down the entire stacks of boxes from both. That could have just been the queens being much faster than me, or me simply missing them and their blue dots.

So I went back out a few days later, and in one of the two where I had been unable to find the queen previously, I did spot her. I also found the girls pulling out the drone brood the laying worker had been creating everywhere. so she would have space to lay up the frames.  A very good thing, that. In the other: still no sign of the new queen. I’m going to head out tomorrow to try to find her one last time. If I can’t, I’ll be pulling the rest of the honey off that hive, reducing them down to two brood boxes (as I run eight frame mediums for everything), and ordering yet another queen to see if they’ll take her.

On the split, however, I caught the queen in the act of laying, something I’ve rarely seen and never managed to film. Until that day.

This was a four frame split from the larger hive, and I expect the queen to lay up the box to get it to full strength by “winter”, such as it is here. These new queens are from Wildflower Meadows, and they specifically breed as hygenic queens. Their customer service is also great. Between drones from my survivor hives, and the inevitable succession daughters of these queens, I should potentially get some great genetics for my yard.