Hello all - new BEEK here.
Built out two TBH based on an ideas gleaned from various forums and installed a package in each today...
First, the hives:
Screened bottom but with two hinged panels - plan to keep it closed except for cleaning or observation:
32 bars, 18.5" inch - cedar - ridged as shown:
End top periscope entrance, 1"x6". One on each end but far end is blocked until needed.
Cedar board mounted at angle as landing board. White board above it is the periscope cover:
So far, so good (or if not, do tell!).
Now - where the inadvertent experiment started...
Picked up the two packages this morning... the seller noticed one of the queens was dead so he gave me a replacement queen for the package (set it on top of the box).
Once home, I suited up and installed the first package... the one with the replacement queen on top...
- removed the syrup
- rapped the box a few times
- poured out the bees.
- popped off the replacement queen's cork and set her on top of ball of bees
- replaced the bars and closed the roof
At this point I was feeling pretty good (maybe even smug) and moved on to the second box.
Did the same with the second box/hive - but paused a moment before popping the queen's cork to note if she was marked... that's when I noticed that she was in fact quite dead.
But she wasn't supposed to be, the queen in box one should have been!
Post haste I retrieved the now mostly empty box one and removed the queen cage which I hadn't even looked at since I assumed (there it is) that she was dead and of course she was very much alive.
So somehow the replacement queen ended up on the box with the live queen, not the dead one, and I had failed to notice (and may well have done it myself).
This all took but a few seconds... as I am standing there in whirlwind of bees - one closed hived with a replacement queen - one with a dead one... and me holding the live queen that should have gone in the aforementioned closed first hive.
The idea of trying to reopen hive 1 and hunt for the replacement queen I had released and swap her with the queen that had been in their package crossed my mind... but only for a second as I looked at the open ball of bees in hive 2 that had no queen and no great reason to stick around at present... so into hive 2 went the queen from box 1 and back on went the bars.
MSPaint diagram of epic fail:
Off I skulked wondering what the bees would make of their new homes and the inadvertent round of "musical queens".
Both hives were pretty hot for the next few hours... I kept eyeballing them from a distance.
Logically I figured worst case scenario (shy of all the girls up and leaving completely) was that the bee's in hive 1 would catch wind of their more familiar queen in hive 2 and rally to her there... but after 4 hours or so hive 1 had all the bustle and hive 2 was very quiet by comparison. So much for my logic.
And that is where things now sit... waiting for day break tomorrow to see what has transpired...