Homemade solar wax melter--better than burning electricity to melt old combs.
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Homemade solar wax melter--better than burning electricity to melt old combs. Bees beekeeping
They were tending to the new queen as she cut herself out of the queen cell. I've never seen this before, let alone gotten a picture of it. Bees ignore emerging workers; obviously, Her Majesty is a different matter entirely.
Queen Bees, The Queen, Queen Cell
This was my first attempt to start queens using this method, so I only did 5. Pros will do 30 or more at a time. We put the frame into a small queenless hive with a gazillion nurse bees, who are frantic to create a new queen, for 24 hours. No other suitable larvae are in that hive, so when these are inserted they immediately treat them as queen candidates and begin to feed them. 24 hours later the frame is transferred to a strong colony with a queen, where the nurse bees finish raising them.
Start Queen, Queen Candid, Small Queenless, Queenless Hives
This is how I transferred the larvae to their new location. The punch is heated in hot water so that it melts through the large frame, which contains larvae 12-24 hours post-hatching: REALLY tiny things, like you can see in one of the other pics in this album. I carefully remove the cell...
Tiny Things, Larva 12 24, Care Removal, 12 24 Hour, Large Frames, Hot Water, Hour Posts Hatch
The new queen-to-be is inside this mass of wax, which is a single long queen cell surrounded by excess comb the bees have deposited simply because they can't stand having empty space in a hive. One of her sisters' cells has already been capped, out of view on this pic. I took this shot on Thursday, after having transferred the larva on Sunday. It's amazing how fast they grow!
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One of the miracles of Nature is how bees without a queen will create one from a "common" worker larva. Beekeepers use this fact to raise queens when they need them, as I'm doing here. Inside that cluster of bees is a prospective queen, being gorged with royal honey. She'll emerge as an adult in another 11 days, ready to mate and found a new hive.
Raised Queen, Prospect Queen
One of the miracles of Nature is how bees without a queen will create one from a "common" worker larva. Beekeepers use this fact to raise queens when they need them. Inside that cluster of bees is a prospective queen, being gorged with royal honey. She'll emerge as an adult in another 11 days, ready to mate and found a new hive.
Since the queen typically starts laying in the center of a frame and moves out, brood of varying ages radiates out from the middle in a spiral. From the right, this comb has eggs, just-hatched larvae up to larvae ready to pupate, and sealed brood, or pupating young. From right to left, it takes about 21 days for worker bees to go from egg to adult.