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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 4 - Freeing the Queen!

Today my dad was up at the farm and seeded about a quarter acre of white clover for the bees.  He has another strip of the conservation ground that he will be seeding soon.  It is neat seeing him get into the bee adventure!

I wanted to check on the hives to make sure the Queens were out of their cages and all was going well.  Dawn, Aaron, Jessica, and I drove up before church, and Aaron & I suited up for getting into the hives.  Immediately, we noticed that the bees had gone through quite a bit of sugar water; there was only about a cup left in each feeder, so we topped off the feeders with more 1:1 solution.

We went to the left hive first, and after smoking it I opened the top and found a big surprise.  When I pulled out the queen cage attached to it was a long piece of white comb about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.  As I looked closer I could see that the comb had trapped the Queen in her cage!  I broke off the comb from the cage and could see that the bees had not eaten all of the candy plug to release their Queen, so I took a match stick and poked out the remaining candy plug and released the Queen.  I placed her onto a frame, and she quickly crawled between two frames hopefully to start a long productive life laying thousands and thousands of eggs! 

I pulled out one of the frames and could see that the bees were making good progress building up comb.  When I checked the other hive, I found they had released their Queen and only built a small amount of comb on the queen cage.  Likewise, the right hive also had quite a bit of comb being built on the frame's foundation.  I am so pleased with how they are doing thus far!

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