Finally a bit of Action

After a lot of worry and wondering if my bees will make it to the Autumn let alone through the winter. I can finally confirm: Queen, Present & Laying QPL!!!!!.

This was a big worry for me as I was beginning to wonder how I would inform my friend who provided me the Nuc in the first place that I lost a colony. As a beginner beekeeper I suppose I had not the experience to assess the bees early enough and make an intervention. If I had placed the fondant mentioned in an earlier post on one month sooner, things could have been so much less of a worry.

I have also confirmed the presence of drone cells and I even managed to mark the queen.

Queen Marking

This was done by applying a spot of queen marking paint to the thorax of the queen with a marking pen.  It sounds easy but let me reassure you that for the beginner beekeeper it is a most daunting task. This is so because the queen is so important and so delicate. Never the less the advantaged of marking the queen speak for them selves.Not only does marking you find the queen in a well populated hive, It also assists in determining  her age (assuming you use the appropriate marking colour.

There are numerous items available for assisting in marking the queen and indeed catching the queen prior to marking. Catching the queen is an extremely delicate task and should be given due care be the beginner beekeeper.

Crown of Thorns.This is a simple device which consists of a ring with a wire mesh over it and spikes on the perimeter.

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Crown of Thorns

This can be placed over the queen and it effectively forms a cage around her.

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Tube Cage

Tube Cage , The cage consists of a 1 3/16” (30 mm) glass or plastic tube about 3 1/8” (80 mm) long with a 3/16” (5 mm) sq. elastic mesh stretched over one end and held in place with a rubber band, a 1 1/8” (28 mm) plunger covered on the top with a 3/8” (9 mm) thickness of soft plastic foam. To use it the queen is captured in the open end of the tube and the plunger inserted into the mouth of the tube, to hold her captive. Please note, It is very important to rinse out the tube cage and sponge after each use as the queen could be attacked if she is returned to the hive with pheromones of another on her.

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Tube Cage

2 Comments

  • Art White says:

    Newbeeman,
    Nice article. Happy to hear your bees are ok. I don’t know the first thing about nucs. I have two hives. One does better than the other. I can’t tell you why! Hang in there. Sounds like (but who am I??) you are doing everything right. Enjoy! – Art

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