A Missed Queen

Our third year of beekeeping has certainly been more challenging than our first two. Sure, I’m more comfortable around the bees than I was when they first arrived but we’re having to do more actual bee keeping these days. And beekeeping seems to be one of those hobbies that is part science, part experience and part luck.

Almost two weeks ago, we split Moose Factory to create a (new) second hive – Chapleau – and Jon installed a queen to lead our new colony. Unfortunately, when we went to check on the hive last weekend, our lovely new queen was dead! This isn’t that uncommon but we were bummed to realize that our second hive would now have to make their own queen or fail.

Lucky for us, a friend ended up with an extra queen and a plan was hatched to create a two-queen hive out of Moose Factory and leave Chapleau to hopefully sort things out on their own.

But, when Moose Factory was opened up today there was a complete lack of new brood. After opening up Chapleau and spotting eggs, it became obvious that even with our careful inspection we’d transferred our queen from Moose Factory into the split. Unknown to us, we’d been trying to introduce a queen into the wrong hive!

So instead of creating a third hive, our new queen has been introduced into Moose Factory. Apparently the bees were quite excited to finally have a queen again (but could also have been furious) so hopefully they decide to keep her and our re-queening adventures can stop for now.

We’ll open up Moose Factory in a few days to see they have let the queen out and then (if they have) check back again in another week to see if she is laying. I’ll be happy when all we have to worry about again is putting on honey supers!

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