Thursday, May 14, 2015

Remove Outer Insulation/Queen Checking

My hives no longer look like tinfoil cubes! I have removed the outer insulation and stored it nearby Just in case the weather drops below freezing. I also did a thorough hive check on each colony. Unfortunately, one of my Italian queens was missing half of her middle, right leg. I could tell because I watched her for about five minutes and her gate was uneven as she wobbled across honeycomb. Two other indicators of my "queen problem" were several active queen cells in the larva stage and a brood pattern that wasn't as full as my other colonies. Because I had a Carniolan queen banked in this hive I smashed the Italian queen, after apologizing to her first, and performed a quick release on the Carniolan. This was done by removing the plug on the queen cage and placing it on top of the frames. Within a couple minutes, she crawled out of the cage and down inbetween the frames. If this queen had been new to the colony I would have hung it in the hive for s3-5 days before doing a slow release with a marshmallow. This would help the colony adjust to the pheromones of the new queen. I will check this colony in four to five days to see if any new eggs have been layed and how full the pattern of eggs is. If the new queen performs, within a couple months, this colony will be completely Carniolan.

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