Removed swarm with queen from an owl box on a Sunday afternoon. Relocated hive to Aubrey apiary for observation for the next few weeks.
Added a frame of brood to hive to entice queen to stay in the hive box.
Fed the hive a mixture of sugar and water, because while swarming bees have nothing to eat.
Hedwig’s queen and some of the foraging bees decided they did not like our hive box so they left. The good news is, that all the nurse bees stayed. YAY!
The frame of brood we added had very tiny bee eggs. The nurse bees took one of those eggs and started to feed it a very special queen food called royal jelly. Royal jelly comes from the forehead of the nurse bees! Then they built a special cell for the new queen called a queen cell. They were so impatient to get a queen they actually built FOUR queen cells. Now we are waiting for the queen cells to hatch. Only 6 more days to go. It takes 16 days for a queen to hatch.
Yahoo! We have a gorgeous new queen in the Hedwig hive. You can see her in the picture above. She is the biggest, fattest queen we’ve ever seen.
Because she is so big, we know that she has gone on her mating flight and in the pic above she’s laying an egg in the cell. This queen will lay up to 2,000 eggs a day, although in the next few months she will slow down dramatically and may even stop laying in the winter. In the spring, she will increase her laying production back up to around 2,000 eggs.