A Honey Bee queen and some funny complications
Well, last night was a hoot.
I received some queens in separate cages. This is how they come, a queen, some attendant bees or nurse bees, some "queen candy" and a plug in a little wooden or plastic box. Mine were in small wooden boxes.
These boxes required some finesse. The plugs were in deep and the candy nearly gone. Trying as i might, the plug kept going in further. After a few sighs and some frustration the plug finally came out. But the candy went in to the bottom of the cage.
These cages are smaller than what I have seen in the past. The queen was having a hard time getting around the rock of candy, and I have an exposed hole in the cage. Plugged it quickly with my finger and try to figure out how to get the rock out.
At first, I try an older cage and butt the holes together so the bees move from one cage to the other...does not work. Next idea, remove part of the screen and place the openning of the older cage over the exposed screen so the bees go in. That does not work either. Next...now this is a doozzie
By this time it is after midnight. I am tired, exhausted and not running on all cylinders. The days have been long and heavy in the yards working with the bees prepping them for the new queens.
So, I get the brain wave to remove the "queen candy from the cage. Staple up the one openned end, and open the other, slightly to allow the nail in side to grab the candy. Well, what happens next sends a slight "girly" scream from me, a dropped cage into my "queen candy bowl with some icing sugar still in there and 4...yes 4 bees flying around the kitchen in the light....wait make that 3. The $26.00 queen is no where to be found. I hunted high and low. Corraled the attendants in a jar, just no queen. After searching for what seemed like forever, about a half hour, I was at a loss....now I have to go to sleep with a queen running around the house. How do I tell hubby who is packing the field to be careful when walking in the door...a queen is loose? I tried listening for her, but with the other queens going to town in the box, it was hard to hear.
Finally, exhausted and dead tired, I went to bed. Up at 7:30 to start in the yards again. Head to the kitchen to get my water jug ready and head out the door...when i get buzzed. Litteraly, whizzed right passed my head and was going in for another attempt at landing. Another "girly" scream, part from freaking out and part from joy that she survived!
Hubby is unsure of what is going on, and gets buzzed too...now he knows.
In the end, the queen is captured, placed in a bigger cage since she grew overnight, and then installed in a hive this morning...all is well with the small corner of my world...except for the rest of the queens chattering away on the kitchen table reminding me to get to work....