Tales From the Hive: Queen For a Day
As a new beekeeper there are a few things I know require my attention. One of them is to be sure the queen is viable and doing “her thing”. To date, this has gone exceptionally well in the hive named Irma. Sadly, not so good in the other hive named August where I just installed a third queen. The third time is the charm, right?
Honeybees are born to work and they do so ceaselessly throughout their lives. The worker bees do everything; they care for the young, clean the hive, forage for food, keep the hive warm in the winter and cool when it is hot outside. They also produce honey, wax, and propolis, they dispose of the dead, and tend to the queen. Tending to the queen is a priority as she is essential to the success of the hive. It takes thousands of bees to do all this work for the hive, but there is only one queen.
It is Good to Bee Queen
The queen acts as mother to the entire colony. It is her job to take a maiden voyage and mate with several drones, which prepares her to lay fertilized eggs for the rest of her life, up to 1,500 eggs per day. This is the queen’s only job, but it is crucial. Throughout her egg-producing years, the workers groom, feed, and clean up after her. She will reign for as long as she is able to produce offspring for a hive. Without a producing queen the hive will perish. As she ages and becomes less capable to perform this task, she will be replaced.
The demise of the first two queens in the August hive remains a mystery. Maybe the workers killed her? Maybe she died in flight? Without a queen the hive will not survive much longer and certainly could not make it through the winter.
I checked on her just a day after her installation. The good news is I found her surrounded by her attendants, an excellent sign. To more easily identify her, I marked her head with a blue dot. My hope is in about a week, I see eggs which is evidence of her productivity in the hive. Oh, Queen August III, long may you reign!
Ensuring the Productivity of Your Hive
While humans may not need a queen in the same way a hive requires, we do need to work with one another in a harmonious capacity. Marilyn’s everyday life affects her training curriculum. Much like her hives, the training she provides focuses on the health of the workplace and ensuring each worker is equipped to perform their job to the best of their abilities with support from others. Contact Marilyn today to see how she can work for your hive.