Her Majesty, the Queen

The queen in one of the hives Clark set up last week perished. Clark thinks he squished her when he replaced the cork on her cage with a marshmallow.  The new queen and her attendents showed up today.  But Clark is in Idaho for the weekend.  And I am here.  I’ve never worked the bees before today, I’ve only been a distant observer.  Today, however, I got up close and personal with the bees.


Me, all suited up in Clark’s bee gear.


This is the queen (marked green) and her attendents.  One takes the cork out of the end that is full of food, and as the bees eat through it, they will get to know each other and let the queen out into her new kingdom.  Why the attendents?  Well you see, the queen only does one thing (two really, I guess, she lets off pheremones that keep the hive together) but her real purpose in life is to lay eggs.  That’s all she does.  Lay eggs.  She can lay up to 2000 eggs a day.  She needs attendents during transist to FEED her.  Feeding herself isn’t laying eggs, so she doesn’t know how to do it.  Crazy!

I take the cover off the hive and see the sugar syrup on the inner cover.  That’s all got to move.  I need to take off the inner cover and expose the frames.


open-the-lidOpening the hive.  You can see the old queen cage wedged between two frames, I’ve got to remove that and replace it with the new queen.  This is a very weak hive that doesn’t have very many bees left, and will die if we don’t get a queen in there soon.

Today is their lucky day!

As I shift the frame over to remove the cage, the bees get irritated.  The soft happy buzz escalates into a loud warning buzz, telling the intruder (me) to GET AWAY! I will silly bees, just let me get your queen in…

After I close up the hive I walk around to the front, and there at the entrance is the bee army, ready to fly out and defend.


I’m glad I have on Clark’s bee suit!


Here is a little worker bee.  Isn’t she pretty?


8 thoughts on “Her Majesty, the Queen

  1. I’m glad you were able to take some pictures of your bee experience! I love the picture of the bees ready to attack you! Great shot!

  2. I love your queen bee experience. It makes me want to talk Carl into getting bees. I think we would love it…I know I would love the honey! Don’t forget to read/watch “The Secret Lives of Bees.” It is a great book/movie. It got me hooked on bees and now with your pictures, I am really getting interested!

  3. WHOA- I am impressed you did all that WITH a camera in tow! You’re good! Those really are great pics, and thanks for the explanation of all that goes on. Well, not all, but at least some of what happens. I request further “hive” lessons from the Queen! 😉

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