Sunday, May 15, 2011

Aussie Queens Say Gidday Canada

I was at Oxford Honey and Supplies in Burgessville, Ontario, getting some supplies.  I didn't know if they'd have queens there.
Last time when I was there and they had a shipment of queens I didn't have my camera with me.

Before leaving home I grabbed the camera, just in case.  I was in luck.  They had a queen shipment.

The queens had been picked up from the supplier at Toronto's airport.  John advised that as soon as they get the queens they immediately open the cardboard boxes and give them water.

Warm droplets of water are sprinkled on pieces of cloth that the bees can sip from.  Last year the queens were piping, a high horn sound.

As they were given water, they quieted and settled down.

The journey from Australia would be probably around 25 hours in flight.

Queen deaths during shipment were amazingly low, which is a testament to the good care the shippers and receivers give them.  And why not, they are precious.
Back at the shop, local beekeepers will stop by to pick up the queens they ordered.  Most of them will be used when they make splits of their hives.

I did a video recording and you can hear the bees feet as they move around.

They'd already had their water and were in a warm room.  They were calm and the queens weren't piping.

The cages have a candy plug in one end and a cork plug in the other.  The supplier inserts the queen and her ladies in waiting through one end and then corks the hole closed.

The screen keeps them in, lets them breathe and once placed in their new hive will protect them until they are accepted by the bees in the hive.  They'll eat the candy plug to free her and by that time her pheromones will be familiar and they'll accept her as their queen.

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