New Queens

New Queen Cells actually.  On Friday I received some ready to emerge queen cells from a queen producer.  They were overnighted and I picked them up at the UPS Customer Service Center in Bristol.  The lady that handed them over to me asked “Are there really Honeybees in there?”  They were packaged very well with no chance of any escaping, so she had nothing to worry about.

Queens are really just worker bees that have been given the royal treatment, in fact the substance that all bee larvae receive is called royal jelly.  You can actually buy royal jelly in health food stores and is quite poplar in some cultures.  Queens are feed 100 times more royal jelly than worker bees, and therefore develop into specialized bees.  Knowledgeable beekeepers can manipulate hives to get them to produce queen cells on demand.  It is fairly time consuming however and careful attention must be paid.

I ordered these a while back and planned on using some of them in the new hives I wrote about in my last post.  Turns out the weather didn’t cooperate and I needed to pick the splits up earlier than expected.  So I ended up putting most of these in mini hives to allow the queens to emerge and mate.  I’ll check on them in 10-14 day to look for a laying queen.  That is usually long enough for the mating process to run its course.  I’ll use them to replace marginal queens, make a couple of mid-summer splits, and maybe even sell a few.

I was only able to make enough mating nucs for about half of the cells so I put the rest in the top of a strong hive.  I had to put a queen excluder (special screen to keep queen away) in to keep the queen from eliminating the newly emerged virgin queens.  I placed each queen cell in a special queen cage designed for just this purpose.  Then I surrounded the frames with nurse bees to help care for the newly emerged queens.  I will likely look to sell some of these as virgin queens to help defray the cost of purchasing them.






One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Stacy on July 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I just have to comment that my hair color claims to have “royal jelly”. Does that mean if I use it enough I’m a queen?!


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