It's summer time, when varroa loads are highest. Time to interrupt the brood cycle, or in my case do so by removing failing queens and installing new ones. You must be patient and allow the bees to get acquainted with their new queen. Otherwise, they will kill her outright. This video shows the bees' reaction to the new queen. Even though they're doomed, their primary instinct is to attack an intruder, especially a queen with her strong scent. I left the cork end on the queen cage for 3 full days before removing it and allowing the bees to eat through the candy to release the queen in a day or two after. A conservative 5 days. Better safe than sorry.
I re-queened both package hives from this spring after deciding they were poorly mated. Time to act in hopes they can get up to proper strength by the end of fall in time to successfully over-winter. This video shows hive Boris, which had gone queenless. It had produced 5 queen cups, two of which have queen larvae floating in rich cups of royal jelly. Time's of the essence so I decided to install a local mated queen that had already begun laying. I got both queens (marked, even) from Garry Whitley at G & S Bee Farm in Albemarle just up the road a bit. Apologies for the out-of-focus quality on this. Maybe Santa will bring me a decent little video camera for Christmas. :-)
Tom Davidson is the owner and beekeeper at T's Bees.
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