Today Julia and completed our first tasks since bringing the bees home: checking to make sure Queen Jaime was out of her box, and preparing Queen Shura to be freed into her box. To free the queens, we removed the cork at the end of her box and quickly replaced it with a marshmallow. Then the boxed queen goes back into the hive, and within a day or so, she and the workers will eat through the marshmallow and the queen will be free in the hive. You can’t just release them when you first bring them home, as the queens were from different hives, so the bees need time to get to know them first. We also added one more box to each hive, making more room for the bees to draw comb on.
The bees have definitely been out working today. I watched them bringing home pollen all day long, and they’ve clearly been busy drawing comb. It’s so cool to watch them build out their new home!
Now we leave them alone until next week, when we will check to make sure the new queens are still alive in the hives and laying eggs.