Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First Queen Pick-Up!

After waiting for a call from Doug at Cannon Bee regarding the delivery of the Buckfast Italian Queens, I called him on Tuesday and guess what?  The Queens have been there for nearly a week...since the bee packages arrived.  Since I didn't order any packages, he didn't call me in spite of my having been there to pick up Queen separators the week before.

I went over tonight and picked up the Queens.  I was supposed to get eight, but two had died so I only got six.  The entire situation is making me nervous because if two perished in the hours between my call and my picking them up, how long do I have to get these Queens installed and will they flourish?

The stress these creatures are under is inestimable, sitting in a tiny plastic cage next to other Queens (they like to be one to a hive, remember) tended by a small cluster of workers.  The sooner I can hive them, the better.

 This is how the Queens are sent in bulk by the breeder via UPS or US Mail

 Inside the box are stands holding the Queen cages.  To the left bees are feeding on sugar and the white is a damp paper towel from which they drink

Worker bees feed the Queens through the holes in the Queen cages

Meanwhile I am working on responding to emails from folks inquiring about the Hive Host program.  I have had a HUGE response from a posting new Hive Host Theresa R. put on the Master Gardener listserv and that has been wonderful.  Not only did we gain another chicken yard with Theresa, but a great ally in our struggle to keep the honey bee in action.  She also has an amazing yard of wonderful plantings.  Photos to come!

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