I saw my queen bee today in Hive 2. For those of you who are beekeepers, you know why that is a big deal to a (somewhat) beginner like me. (Note: I just began my 3rd year of beekeeping. I am still relatively new. You can read about my journey HERE.)
Queen bees are very hard to find in to an untrained eye, and even an eye that knows what she looks like, but just can’t seem to find her. Here, you try it out:
Not so easy, huh? She is in the middle of this photograph, has a longer body than the other bees in the picture, and fewer strips on her backside. It is a MUST to find her. Your hive will die without the queen as she constantly lays eggs for new brood. The average lifespan of a honeybee is 45 days, so she has to churn ’em out fast! Oftentimes the queen will die, and a beekeeper will not know it until there are very few bees left in the hive, and it is too late to re-queen. (I may or may not know that from experience.)
If you can’t find the queen, look for capped brood on your frames. In the picture above, the comb cells are covered with a yellow substance that looks a little crusty. That is capped brood – or baby bees waiting to be born.
If you see capped brood, then it is evidence that she is laying her eggs, and the worker bees are sealing up the comb cells so the babies can grow. Fun Fact: Honeybees are born fully grown. They waste no time with that growing up business. They have got to get to work on day one.
I hope you have enjoyed my Hello Spring honeybee series. I don’t have all the beekeeping answers, but I am learning as I go. If you are an experienced beekeeper, I would love to know what you think. Please leave your comments below to help me and other beginning beekeepers learn. We appreciate your advice!
Some of the links within are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase some items, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Also, 100% of any money made from this blog is put back into the feed, care, and well being of our cows and bees, as well as the care of the land upon which they are fed. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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