Her Highness Takes Flight!


If you read my last post, you know I discovered two queen cells in my hive and yesterday when I checked, they’d both been opened.  Without actually “bee-ing” in the hive myself, I could only surmise that my colony had new royalty.  Although I looked carefully yesterday, I failed to see any evidence of her highness.  Even though there were two queen cells and both were opened, there would have been only one survivor.  Whoever was luckiest to emerge first would have found her competitor’s unopened cell.  The unfortunate contender probably piping her frantic objections at her cell being chewed apart and facing her subsequent death sentence from the  stings of the reigning queen. (Read some really neat things about sound communication in the hive  at http://www.culturaapicola.com.ar/apuntes/conducta/205_comunicacion_sonidos_abejas.pdf ).

Since I am still very inexperienced with beekeeping, I was hesitant to throw more money into the operation and thought I’d take a wait and see approach.  My “wait and see” turned into getting my camera this afternoon and taking a front row seat to watch the little gals flying in and out of the hive.  Unbelievably, I was able to catch with my camera, the new queen emerging from the hive and flying off on a mating flight.  I’m not sure if there are drones to fertilize her, but just to finally SEE the queen was enough for me!  Getting photos was the highlight of my day.  So what if my truck broke down and the rest of the day hadn’t gone so well.  I am on cloud nine!

Out of the hive she emerges

With her attendants

and off to seek her mate(s) she flies!

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About "BUGGING" YOU FROM FRIDAY HARBOR!

I love beetles and keep bees! In my free time, I enjoy photography (mostly bugs) and documenting insect species found on San Juan Island. I have limited availability for local, onsite beekeeping consultation and hive inspection, honey bee removal/swarm collection as well as phone/skype consultation. Contact me at cyndibrast@me.com Member Washington State Beekeepers Association
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2 Responses to Her Highness Takes Flight!

  1. sweetacres says:

    Amazing to catch a photo like that! A once in a lifetime shot!

  2. felicia says:

    Great pictures!!!

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