I Couldn’t Walk Away

Okay, I know I said I was going to do a “walk away” split, and let my Buckies create their own Queen.  But I just couldn’t walk away and leave them Queenless.

It takes at least 15 days for them to make a Queen, for her to mate, and then for her to start laying.  And that’s if everything goes perfectly!  I just can’t take that chance, especially after the demise of the Italians.

So, yesterday evening I ordered a Buckfast Queen from BeeWeaver Apiaries in Navasota, Texas, to be delivered by UPS.

Queen Bee In Shipping Box

I’m glad I didn’t dither too long, because BeeWeaver is only selling Queens until July 15, and it is one of the only suppliers of Buckies in the US.

She should be here today or tomorrow.  I’ve named her Boadicea after the 1st century British Warrior Queen.

I’ve decided to put off honey extraction until Friday morning to give the bees a chance to calm down and for my muscles to stop aching. Those boxes are heavy!

More later…

23 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Walk Away

  1. This is like a reading a novel, only we have to wait just like you, no skipping ahead to see what happens, but its compelling reading. 🙂

  2. Long live the Queen!

  3. E A M Harris says:

    I hope she settles in well.

  4. Becca says:

    Gorgeous name! Just wondering why the queen in the photo doesn’t have any attendants. All of the queens in queen cages I’ve seen have always had 3 or 4 bees in with them.

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  7. solarbeez says:

    How did you decide you needed a new queen? I’m wondering if I need one because my Warre hive is not making any new comb. I called a company here in the PNW who said you’ve got to make sure there is no queen OR laying workers. If there are laying workers they will kill any new queen and they will only lay drones. And there is never any single laying worker…always many. You can tell a laying worker when you see multiple eggs in a cell or the egg is attached to the side of the cell.
    I’m hoping my hive is just temporarily slowed down, but I might have to open it up. Here when its sunny, it’s windy. Since I’ve been ‘lit up’ a couple of times, I’m a bit leery to poke around inside. 🙂
    My log hive is doing well. Lots of bees packing in the pollen.
    One more thing that spokesperson said…the unmated queen needs two days in a row, over 65 deg.F on a ‘no-wind’ day to get out there to find the drones and mate. Around here that’s asking a lot. Still I see a lot of bees so I know it must be possible.

    • It was really easy for me to tell I had no Queen. I opened my hive and there was nobody home…
      You really have a log hive?? Tell me more!!

      • solarbeez says:

        The log hive came into existence when I met Hal, a feisty long time beekeeper who was losing conventional hives. He figured he would hollow out a tree to make the most natural type hive for the bees.
        I met Hal at the bee club. He invited members to look at his ‘bee tree’ and I was hooked.
        When a friend of mine sent me some Slovenian artwork and a carving placed on the front of a hive that had bees entering through the mouth, nose, and eyes, that appealed to me in a weird sort of way.
        The story is spelled out here with a short video on the end.
        You can see the Warre hive in the background.

      • That’s amazing!!

    • Fyi, I’ve never heard that laying workers will kill a new queen as a matter of course.
      From what I know about re-queening, the only requirement is that there be no live Queen for a day or so.

      • solarbeez says:

        I’m a newbee so I don’t really know much. Most of what the lady said sailed over me with little understanding. I wanted to get a queen, but with all that she said, I was worried it wouldn’t take. My attitude concerning the bees has been ‘hands-off,’ but I probably ought to get a look at it. I can see through the observation window the 7 full natural combs, plenty of bees working them, but there’s no building going on in the underneath box.
        She also said it’s the BROOD that puts out the pheramone that keeps the worker bees from laying…that flies in the face of what I’ve read, that it’s the “queen’s substance” that puts out that pheramone…but she’s a breeder and should know.

      • The best way to tell if you have a laying queen is to see if you have a good brood pattern. You won’t have that with laying workers. You will see scattered drone brood instead.
        They may not be building because they don’t need the space yet. You may want to reverse the boxes to encourage building above, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

  8. solarbeez says:

    Thanks for that tip. I’ll look for a good brood pattern.

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  11. This is a complex activity (beekeeping) from the looks of some of your posts. Fascinating. Well, I am feeding them, anyway, and co-incidentally I am noticing a lot more honeybees around this year than in the past few, which I hope reflects improvement in bee circumstances generally.

    • This is a quote from author Simon Buxton — “The future of bees is not one beekeeper with 60,000 hives, but 60,000 beekeepers with one hive.”
      It really isn’t that complex an activity. I’m sad that I made it sound that way. 😦
      I hope you will consider having a hive one day!! 🙂

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