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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Post # 49 Requeening

I carried the bees out to their new home well behind Sister-In-Law’s house.  Now, I needed to worry about the queen.  First, I wasn’t sure if I had captured her.  Second, I was pretty sure the bees would just fly away if they didn’t have a queen.

I had gone to the library (remember them?) and started reading about bees while waiting for my kit to arrive.

I learned that I should get a new queen after capturing a feral hive to make sure I had bees that behaved well.  I should decide if I wanted gentle bees (Yes!), bees that produced a lot of honey (Yes!), or bees that did both (Yes and yes!).

My Sears and Roebuck Beginning Beekeeper’s kit had come with a book on beekeeping and it had also come with a list of places where you could buy bees.  Buy bees?  How amazing that you could buy a bee!  It turns out that one of the places that sold bees and also sold queens was in Texas.

Weaver Apiaries was in Navasota and would be willing to sell me a new queen.  I called Weaver and visited with them.  According to Weaver’s the queen I wanted was the Buckfast Queen.  She was gentle, she produced gentle bees that don’t get riled up easily, and her offspring would produce lots of honey.

I was sold.  I gave them my credit card number over the phone and they said they would mail my queen to me right away.

She arrived in about two days.  The Post Office called the house early that morning and told me I had a bee waiting, would I please come and pick it up?

Wife went to the Post Office, and was let in the back door before they were open for regular business.  They handed her a large burlap sack.  The kind of sack that people use to run races in at parties.  The 50-pound potato sack variety.

And in the sack was a little wooden box.  The box was maybe 2” X 1”.  The queen and a worker bee were caged inside the box.

Wife brought the queen home.  I was excited.  I took part of the day off from work so I could install the new queen.