Break Out The Cigars and Bescuit Met Muisjes

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by Sjoerd, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    As you know, I have been on tenterhooks waiting for a new queen to be born. I went every morning early to check on the queen cells that the worksters had made.

    Before I continue, allow me to explain this process of which I am speaking. The backstory: A colleague well into his 80's is giving up beekeeping after more than three decades carrying out this hobby. It is sad, but he says that he doesn't have the strength anymore to lift the boxes and do all the chores. He also had a stroke which left him 'weak' on one side. It is all understandable, but passion for a hobby cannot be forced into a box of logic, if you know what I mean.

    At any rate a few days ago he called me with the news and asked if I would like to have a frame full of eggs and very small larvae in order to grow at least two new queens. He has a moer (queen) with excellent attributes and are very calm--just what I need for the close proximity of allotment gardens. So then, my queens are both four years old this year, which is unusual here for queens. Usually they live to be two years and then are driven out or killed by the worksters in her hive. I feel like I have been living on borrowed time., so I jumped at the chance and said, "YES, please".

    So the way this works is you take a hive that only has room for six frames-- one frame with nectar and pollen, some empty frames (foundation or already built-up)...the frame with the eggs and larvae go in-between these.

    One places the hive and then waits ten days, then you press your ear up against the side of the hive (I am lazy and use a stethoscope) and listen for piping. If one hears the queens piping then you know that at least one is out and you can look into the hive and take action.

    What is piping? it is a specific sound that is made by the queen outside the cell...it calls out a challenge and the queens still in the cells answer with a more muffled piping sound. You can look it up on YouTube and listen to the sounds.

    So then I went four mornings in a row and listened and looked, only on the last morning after listening and hearing nothing did I pop the top off and look inside. I heard no piping, but I knew there were queens hatched anyway. How did I know this? There was a lovely queen in the last throws of life on the flying plank in front of the split.

    To my surprise there was the new queen strolling around (You do not always see her, and you do not go searching). You want to close the hive back up as quickly as you can and leave them with rest for another fourteen or twenty-one days. There were five queen cells open.

    Before closing it up I had to remove all the bees from the frame with the cells on it...verrrrry carefully. Once clean of bees, I placed it into a waiting 3-framed hive with food, and foundation. The little hive is now empty, so I shake all the bees off two honey frames (from another hive) and close the hive up completely. After a day or so the rest of the queens will emerge, fight it out and there will be a second queen which I will use later to replace the old queens or to let them run their own hives.

    Below the frame with all the queen cells:
    zzzbab3a.JPG

    There were another two cells on the flip-side of the frame above.

    The next foto shows the cells--My colleague was holding the frame tilted it so that my Bride could take this foto. Do you see that five of the cells are open?
    zzzbab3ab.jpg

    The bescuit met muisjes is what we do here with births. It is a round piece of rusk with a layer of butter and on top of that pink and white (girl) or blue and white (boy) coated anise seeds.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
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  3. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    Well,, since its a queen,, has to be a girl ! All that is amazing !
     
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  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    You are having such success with your bees! Congratulations, with a touch of envy . . . .
     
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  5. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Those photos are great! I could see the holes from which the adolescent Queens emerged!
     
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  6. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    100% right, MART--I am tickled pink. Hopefully she has already paired and is laying. It will be awhile before I can look into the hive, but I shall keep my eyes peeled for signs of birth inside--like bees returning to the hive with packets of pollen on their hind legs.

    Ahhh JANE--You say the nicest things. I am hoping that you guys will get back into beekeeping one day. I look forward to chatting with you about this and that bee things.

    Great CAYU!!-- Those little holes are all that is left from the drama that took place on that day.
     
  7. Willowisp0801

    Willowisp0801 Seedling

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    That's very interesting, I had a guy on my mail route, when I lived in Texas, who had bees. I had him come into my granddaughter's kindergarten class. He was very interesting!
    Then I met parents at my granddaughter's jiu jitsu class who had bees and the dad came in and talked to my preschool class about them. He brought "guest" bees and honey sticks for the kids. They loved his pictures and talk. I might see if he (or his wife) would come into the school I work at now. I would love to have bees.
     
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  8. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    What an interesting post, Willow. I can well imagine that the kids are very interested in bees and how it all works. I wish that I had had that exposure when I was a child. You know Willow, most of the beekeepers that I know are older folk and it is so that in West-Friesland where I live that there is a desperate need for a younger generation to take up beekeeping. Those school talks can make a lasting impression on some kids, I believe.
     
  9. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Super super interesting. Bees have always fascinated me but I've stopped there and have never owned a hive, geared up or done anything with bees other than eat the honey. Very interesting and very happy you now have your Queens.
     
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  10. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Thanks so much Island-- I am chuffed that you found the thread interesting,
     

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