Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Matrimony & Caging Queens

Hi Folks, Since my daughter got married last week I have neglected to blog for several weeks.
I will be caging queens tomorrow (8-6-15) if weather allows. The window for caging queens is now through the middle of Aug. depending on when you want to extract honey. Remember, it takes 21 days for worker brood to hatch out and 24 days for drones so 21-24 days after you cage your queen your hive will have no more eggs, larva or pupa and extraction is much cleaner and easier.  This has been a much better season than 2014 thanks to warmer weather. Most honey is darker this season, which I contribute to a shortage of rain in early to mid-summer. This decreases the amount of nectar flowers can produce (such as fireweed). When I cage my queens, I put a cork back in the queen cage hole and stick a thin piece of duct tape over the cork to discourage any royal Houdini tricks. Then I hang the queen cage in the middle of the hive between two frames ensuring the screen is not facing the foundation. I want to keep my caged queen alive as long as possible so the workers won't try as hard to create another queen. The screen of the queen cage must be facing open space between the frames.


  1. Hi Dawn!
    We tried something new for us this year! Last Saturday, we used a nontoxic product called BeeQuick to get all of the bees out of our upper box so we could harvest that one box. It worked great! We got 17.5 pounds of beautiful delicious honey and put the frames back to let the ladies get back to work. The brood box is full of larvae in all stages of development, so we left that alone. Today we are going to check to see what everyone has been up to in the past week. We are hoping that we will have good weather for another month so we can get another harvest.

    1. Awesome! My honey is mostly dark this year. How about yours? I'm happy to hear you have had success this year!! That's what will keep you playing with bees :)

  2. Definitely! Ours is a bit darker than before, but tastes fantastic! We've also been showing friends how we do the bees-they are going to do two hives next year. You'll probably see them in your class this spring. We tell them they have bee fever!

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