Installing New Queen Bees in Bee Hives
Jimmy Earl Cooley
Jimmy Earl Cooley has one bee hive designated, Hebert Hive, which was started in April of 2012. He purchased a complete bee starter kit from Mann Lake and assembled on April 16, 2012. Richard Hebert, president of the Beauregard Parish Beekeepers Association and long time bee keeping hobbyists captured swarm of bees in DeRidder, LA and placed the swarm, with queen, into Jimmy’s hive on April 25th. With help and assistance, visits, emails, telephone calls and personal contact, and beekeepers meetings Jimmy has managed the healthy hive through the spring and summer of 2012 and harvested one half gallon of honey in September 2012. The hive successfully made it through the winter of 2012 in good shape. It was decided to replace the queen bee in the spring of 2013 so several queen bees were ordered from RWeaver of Texas. The Queen bees were ordered; marked and clipped and delivered to us on April 17th. The original plan, before the swarming, was to split the Hebert Hive into two groups with a new queen in each of two hives. Hebert and Shirley Hives.
Unfortunately, on April 12, 2013 the Hebert Hive swarmed and at least 50 % of the bees were lost, plus the queen. When I noticed the overhead swarming around 11 am on this morning and consequently the gathering of the swarm on a 40 foot tall pine sapling. I decided to try to capture the swarm and truly I should have called for help in removing the swarm from the top of the young pine tree. This would have allowed for additional hands and knowledge in trying capturing the ball of bees that had settled near the top of the pine sapling. It would have allowed for one person to cut the tree and the other to slowly lower the tree, allowing for capture of the bees in a box, rather than what happened, which was: I cut the tree diameter too much and it fell and the bees dispersed and lost the queen in process. This resulted in the queen flying away to another tree near the original tree, but a sweet gum instead of pine. By time I tried to react the new swarm being formed, in the sweet gum tree and consequently the swarm leaving for unknown parts and The hive remained queen less (or we thought so) for two days before the new queens arrived and we proceeded to open the hive and install a new queen on April 18th. When the hive was opened we found many queen cells that were already opened and Richard retrieved two young queens from the open hive. He captured and removed the 2 new queens and placed in plastic queen containers. He then installed one of the new queens (Buckfast variety) at 6 pm on April 18 into the hive and closed it. The Hebert Hive was opened on Saturday the 20th at 7 pm for inspection to see if the new queen had been released by the workers from the queen box into the hive. The queen box was empty and the queen and workers that were shipped with her were gone and in the hive. The hive seemed content with this arrangement.
For the Shirley Hive, Richard had a queen less group of bees that he removed from one of his hives so he installed this bunch of bees into my Shirley Hive (which was empty) along with one of the new queens (All American) and the hive closed, again around 6pm on April 18th . This hive was also opened on Saturday, April 20th for inspection to see if the new queen had been released by the workers from the queen box into the hive. The sugar was not completely eaten away and she was not released, so I carefully opened a small hole in the candy disc and she quickly left the queen cage and dropped into the hive. I looked at the hive around dark and all seemed content.