In my last post I was splitting the hive to stop the bees swarming and create a backup hive. I’ve been monitoring the situation and it appears that the bees have not liked the lack of a queen and have since been trying to grow their own by creating quite a few more queen cells.
This is good because it allows a backup for the queen cell I have that is due to hatch any day now and bad in that the queens will fight and there is the potential that my new queen could be damaged. I now have the task of removing all but two of the queen cells, my original one and a good looking new one as backup.
The removed queen cells won’t all be wasted. I have decided to try and breed two queens for replacement purposes or as a second backup to my split hive. You never know.
To raise queens you need to create a mini hive and I purchased two mating hives for this very purpose. You simply put some foundation into the mini frames, a queen cell, some food and a cup full of bees. Seal it up for 48 hours and move it indoors, spraying the entrance occasionally with water to keep them alive. After 48 hours place outside and open the entrance so they can forage for food.
Now all I have to do is wait two weeks and then see how things are going. If I see eggs all is OK and I have some fertile queens. If it is successful I’ll either create another hive or give them away to someone who has lost a queen and could lose their hive.
So I now have four hives although three are queenless and they won’t survive without one. I’m finding the whole thing very interesting.