Buying & Introducing A Buckfast Queen Bee

Buying & Introducing A Buckfast Queen Bee

It always seems hilarious to friends that one can buy a Queen and it gets delivered by post within a couple of days.

In mid-August, I identified a Queen-less hive and bought a 2018 Buckfast Queen from a local bee breeder.

I bought a Buckfast as it scores well against all traits, particularly, low aggressiveness and tendency to swarm and high calmness, honey collection and late season foraging. See table below for more information.

Queen Bee Traits

Queen Bee Traits
Queen Bee Traits – Table from I Want Bees

Queen Cage

The Queen arrived in a Queen cage in a bubble wrapped envelope.  She had a few attendant workers.

Queen Cage
Queen Cage

There was a candy bung at the end so they couldn’t get out.

Introducing The Queen

Some Queen suppliers advise to remove the workers before introducing the Queen, but I was too concerned I could lose the Queen in the process.  Some Queen suppliers also advise leaving the tape at the end on for a few days, to give the colony more time to get used to the new pheromones.  But I was going to be away – and my preference is to intervene as less as possible with the bees.

After doubling checking the hive was indeed queenless I simply inserted the Queen cage in the middle of the colony and closed it up.  Note: I had Apivar strips on at the time, and still do.

Queen Accepted

I checked two weeks later.  On the outside of the hive, a 100 or so bees were just wondering about and I didn’t see any bees coming or going.  But on inspecting a couple of frames I found larvae. I assume the Queen has been accepted and that the aimless bees might be because the hive is already full of honey, or the bees are now old?

I’ll go and have a look again soon, to see if they are bring in pollen.

Read More

I keep my more detailed beekeeping notes in: My Apiary

Author: Roger

regaining my sanity through beekeeping

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