The new queen was ordered on Monday and shipped priority mail; however, she didn’t arrive until Saturday morning. We got a phone call from the post office asking us to pick up our bees. This is how she and her four attendants were shipped.
The queen cage was glued to the top of the box. One end has a cork and the other end is filled with bee candy – food for the road. Even though she was in the mail for five days, she looked good! She seemed strong and healthy. Time to get her into the hive!
The weather for opening a hive couldn’t have been much worse – 37 degrees, windy and drizzling. Unfortunately, this hive has been without a queen for way too long and this poor queen has been in a tiny cage for way too many days. We had to open the hive and install her. We set her cage on its side on top of the frames. There were a couple of curious girls that came to check her out. Then all of a sudden, her cage was mobbed! They have been desperate for a queen. Still, it’s best to give the hive time to get used to a new queen’s pheromones, so we opted for the slow release method of letting the girls eat thru the candy plug to let her out. We checked back the next day and saw that no progress was made eating the candy. We had to help them out a bit. We took the cork off the other end and put a small amount of marshmallow in that end. Hopefully the bees will eat it quickly and release the queen. We’ll check back in a couple of days to make sure the queen has been released.