In June, we decided to mark the queen in Maylyn Sorority. The first step to marking the queen is to find the queen. We carefully went frame by frame through the hive searching for her.
Here she is. She is the bee with the really long abdomen.
Can you spot her on this frame?
The queen is fed and groomed by worker bees. These worker bees are called attendant bees.
This frame shows worker bees busily filling cells with pollen and nectar.
Here the queen is crawling to the other side of the frame to get away from what could harm her.
Honey bees will get out of the way of a mature queen. The bees, however, will not get out of the way of a virgin queen. A virgin queen is a queen that is not mated. She runs over the other bees because she does not lay eggs yet. Maylyn’s queen is a mature queen.
The bees balled up at the bottom end of this frame. When they do this a beekeeper must be careful not to crush the bees.
Can you spot the queen on this frame?
The queen is climbing to the other side of the frame in this picture.
As the queen goes over the frames, she inspects the cells. If the cell is clean enough, she lays an egg in it.
A worker bee is feeding the queen is this picture.
Olivia held the frame with the queen on it while Mr. Mike caught the queen.
Mr. Mike put the queen into a queen marking tube. The tube has wire on the end and and soft plunger to push the queen to the wire mesh.
Mr. Mike used a yellow pen to mark the queen. She is marked yellow because she was born in the year 2017. Every year has a certain color for marking the queen. Marking a queen does three things. 1) It tells the beekeeper the age of the queen, 2) it makes the queen easier to spot, and 3) it tells the beekeeper if the queen was superseded.
Here is Mr. Mike marking the queen.
Mrs. Julie put the frame carefully back in the hive.
Here we are (left to right Mr. Mike, Mrs. Julie, Bethany, Abigail, and Olivia) after our first queen marking.
It was really exciting to mark a queen. Now whenever we inspect Maylyn we can easily spot the queen.