Becoming a Beekeeper

2006 - the year of rebuilding.

I decided to increase the number of hives to prevent a hive crashing causing a 50% loss. I took the remaining hive and split it into three and bought queens from Arnold Honeybee Service in Tennessee.

Queen bees in shipping box

The UPS guy said that all the guys at the distribution center got a kick out of my order. The queens came in just as you see this, the shipping label is on the back. There is only one queen in each little cage, the other bees are attendants.

I installed the queens into the hives and was back up to three hives. I then decided that since the last operation had been so easy I'd replace the original queen who's bees made no honey and split her hive again to create the 4th hive.

During that operation one queen failed, leaving the hive queenless. Before I got a replacement, the hive got laying workers and I gained much painful experience struggling with laying workers. Long story short, after failing with the introduction of another queen, I shook out all the bees from the laying worker hive onto the ground about 300 feet from the hive location. I then took four frames of brood and eggs with the bees on them from my other hives and installed them into the emptied hive. I shook several more frames of bees into the old hive and waited 9 hours before introducing the new queen. After 3 days she was released and in 10 days she was laying eggs.

New hives installed

All the new hives. The second hive has two honey supers while the new hives build up. They all now have three brood boxes, two brood and the third honey/brood.