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Friday, May 20, 2011

Swarms, Grafting, Missing Queens & Mysteries Solved

What an exciting day today!  Dawn & I headed off to Stew-Stras Grade School after work today to capture a swarm hanging on the side of the building.  It was a nice size swarm, and it now has a proper home in the Quicksall Apiary!

After arriving at the farm and while we still had daylight, I started looking for young larva for grafting.  I planned on using the Queen from the original East Hive because she has been a good layer, and her bees make lots of wax and honey; however, when I looked in the East C hive she wasn't there and there was no young larve at all!  Where did she go???  Without any time to think too long, I pulled a frame of larva from the swarm captured at the Effingham Court House and grafted 15 one-day-old larva to raise queens in the Starter/Finisher Hive.  Tailgates make nice work tables!

Of course, a funny thing happened as I was getting ready to place the grafted larva into the Starter Hive....I FOUND A QUEEN!  There is NOT suppose to be a Queen in the Starter Hive!  Now I know why the larva that I grafted before were gone....a hive with a Queen will reject the grafted larva.  So, I removed the Queen and placed her in a California Mini (Queen Cage) and returned her to the hive where she was suppose to be: East C.  By the time they have her freed, she will be accepted and will go about her egg laying business.

Dad also had been working on fixing up a table that he found thrown out at his apartments to use at a hive stand.  I don't think it will hold too many supers filled with honey, but at this stage of the game it makes a nice bee hi-rise!

What an exciting day for the Beekeeping Quicksalls!

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