If you want to produce your own Queen honeybees but don’t know how and don’t have the equipment then this is the answer. Anyone with a hive can do this with good results. In fact, this method is the oldest way of producing queens even before grafting. Many variations off of this can occur and we started teaching many new and old beekeeper alike techniques that we came up with like “walk-away blind splits”, “hive-top splits”, etc. The bottom line…If it works do it and have fun. Dann the bee man.
Have you ever wanted to see what it looks like to introduce a 3 pound package of bees with the queen into a Kenyan Top Bar Hive? Well it really isn’t all that difficult. In this video I show you how it is done and how quick it is. Nothing to be afraid of and it’s pretty simple. The key is to limit the package a small area through the use of a follower board. With this particular hive, I believe I limited them down to four bars width and stuffed the entrance with grass. You can see this on the front left of the hive. I placed the queen cage just a little off to the right or left of the feeder hole on the center most bar and then I put the feeder can from the package right over the feeder hole. I like to use the same can because the bees are familiar to the smell are drawn to it which will also draw them to the queen. Later in this video you might hear me talk to Mr. Mike Estes, the owner of the hive and owner of Rick’s Garden Shop on Uintah Street, Colorado Springs, CO that this cage did not have queen candy and I would have to come back and put a marshmallow into the entrance after I take the cork out. This particular cage is known as a California mini and I don’t like them. I will write an article later and tell you why. I have good reason. One of the many reasons is it is difficult to put a reasonable amount of queen candy into the entrance without using a feeding tube which is another expense and part. Anyway, that is not what I want to talk about and marshmallow are not the best way to introduce with but in this case it worked.