On Friday night Chris & I went north to pick up a Queen for one of our hives. Because we both work full time we are considered weekend beekeepers & last weekend we discovered that a hive we thought was strong was without any eggs. Queenless. We picked up the queen from a Dufferin Bee Association member who has been bee keeping for way over 30 years. This wonderful gentleman has been mentoring us because there is only so much you can get from books. They selected a wonderfully laying queen and 3 attendants & put them in a little cage with a candy block.
At 6:00am Saturday morning I woke up to Chris saying oh SHIT. Forgive the language but I sat up in bed & said what. He said that the bees had eaten there way out of the cage & were loose in the house. I came out of the bedroom to Chris in the kitchen with a glass covering 1 attendant and a bowl over another one up on the cupboards. We got a jar & like we're 5 again, punched holes in the lid & put the attendants in the jar. But where is the QUEEN?? Several hours after Chris had left for work, I found the queen on the kitchen floor. I trapped her under a glass & got her back into the jar....So now I called our bee mentor to find out what we do next.
Well...his advise is nothing that you will find in any bee book. My instructions were to purchase some Johnson's baby powder. It must be Johnson's because it's the only one that smells like flowers. Take the lid off the hive & coat the frames, without lifting them, in a layer of baby powder. Put the lid back on for an hour. After an hour lift the lid again, put in more powder, open the jar UPSIDE down over the frames & insert the queen & the attendants. Special note...try & get some of the powder on the queen as well. Put the lid back on & in 4 to 5 days we go back in & see if there are any eggs. OMG...get some powder on the queen if you can? Then he gave me some encouraging...you can do this...you're good. lol
|Here's the jar with the Johnson's baby powder.|
|The aftermath of the powder|
|I'm sitting on the porch of the unfinished bee hut waiting out the hour with my dogs.|