This was not only my first attempt at fixing hive with a laying worker. This was also my first attempt at installing a new queen.

I tend towards laissez faire beekeeping where I observe and watch what the little critters do with minimal interference. Of course, now that I’ve seen what a hive with a laying worker does, I’ll try to intercede earlier next time.

So I found someone local to sell me a new queen. He suggested, as I have read here, to shake out the entire hive and return the empty equipment to it’s previous location. To this, he suggested that I break the hive down to one deep hive body with two frames of open brood from my queenright hive (and the clinging bees).

Thus, moving out from the middle of this single box I had the queen cage (held by a nail, hanging candy end up, punctured slightly to assist in freeing the queen) and then on either side two frames of open brood, two primarily empty frames (some pollen), two frames of pollen, two frames of honey and one empty frame in the extra space.

But first, shaking / brushing the bees out was an experience. I had planned to take photos, but I was a little too busy. I took the hive around behind my house to a work area near my garden. I shook them out onto the ground and there were thousands of bees everywhere. In hindsight (this story has A LOT of HINDSIGHT) I should have put the empty frames into plastic trash bag because the bees were going right back to it. After they realized that they weren’t going to be using it as home any more (when I got down to the bottom board) they got VERY agitated and started tearing apart the capped honey that I had not to far away. Like I said, I WOULD have put this in a nearby container or in a bag or something, but once I got started there was nowhere to go that didn’t have thousands of bees.

When I moved the equipment back to the hive stand many bees where already there either tapping their feet impatiently waiting for me to set them back up or they were giving up and going into the queenright hive nearby. This got THAT hive upset just as I went to go in to get the frames of open brood.

I am SO glad that my little .47 acres is VERY private and the neighbors didn’t see alot of this. On the other hand, maybe now they’ll leave the crazy bee guy alone.

Anyway, I as I took the open brood out I was VERY careful not to take the good queen out of the queenright hive and move her into the hive that I was trying to install the new queen in. Of course, I’m also not that good at spotting the queen so my success remains to be seen.