Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Busy Bees

May is one of those months where quilting and bee-keeping collide, as it's always the busiest time of year for both ventures. Hubby and I took time on the long weekend to get the bees caught up to speed.  The last two winters have been very hard on them, and the number of hives has decreased substantially.
However, the remaining hives were strong enough in numbers to split. 
Hubby purchased new Hawaiian queens.  I always feel so sorry for these ladies, leaving such a beautiful homeland behind.  They come packaged in little wooden crates, with several attendants, and a sugar plug at the end of the box.  Once the cage is placed inside the new hive, the worker bees start chewing through the sugar from both ends to release the queen.
 It's a tedious task to go through the hives frame by frame, bee by bee, to spot the queen.  You hope to find her on the very first frame but naturally that never happens.  We had to go through these two boxes of bees twice to find this queen.  Can you see  her below?  What's interesting about this pictures is that the workers are in formation, circling the queen.  You can see the cells are filled with yellow pollen, stored up to feed new babies.
That queen stays in the old hive, and half of the frames - which include brood - are put in a separate hive to join the new queen.
Hubby places the queen crate between two frames.  Next week when we go to check, the queen will be busy laying eggs in her new abode.
 Then the process is repeated for the remaining hives.  Can you find this queen?
More to do next weekend...

7 comments:

  1. How interesting. Why the Hawaiian Queen Bee? Just wondering. I could spot her doing her little hula dance there. :-)

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  2. so interesting! thank you for sharing. Go Bees!

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  3. Finding the queen is kind of like Where's Waldo.

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  4. I hope the new hives do well. (And the old ones, too, of course.)

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  5. Yes, I can see Queen Waldo! Did your new queens bring a Hawaiian uke with them?

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  6. I'm sure your bees are happy to welcome spring, like the rest of us... They'll be busy buzzin' before long...

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  7. Reading about your work with the bees brings back such happy memories. Thank you!

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