Monday, June 15, 2009

Beekeeping Photos

Here are a few photos from our hive experiment last week. A quick recap: we'd lost our queen and some of the workers started laying unfertilized eggs. Left alone, this hive would die.
We purchased a queen from a local breeder. She came in a cage, marked with a green dot of paint. In the larger box, she had a few attendants to feed her. We placed her box within a larger mesh 'box' that was placed over a frame of emerging brood [worker bees]. The brown 'dots' within the cage (seen below) are the soon-to-be hatching bees. Here is a [fuzzy] close up of the queen cage. One of her attendants is walking along the top of the cage. Here is what the fame looked like when we checked it a few days later. The original attendants have eaten the candy plug that confined the queen to her small cage. She is now free in the larger cage. A number of bees have hatched within the frame and are now feeding and attending to the queen. Hopefully she is releasing her pheromones within the hive. Even better, we observed workers within the hive feeding the queen through the screen. Hopefully this is sign that they are accepting her.
I promise that swarm pictures will follow shortly. I have to get the photos from my dad's camera so it might take a few days.