In honor of Mother’s Day – let’s celebrate the most important bee in every single beehive – the Queen Bee!
The queen has a huge responsibility to help grow the colony by laying eggs. In fact, that is her only job. It is important that she is healthy and strong to perform her duty and keep the colony going and growing. The worker bees appreciate this so much about her that they tend to her every need outside of this sole purpose and fiercely protect her.
The worker bees know it is best for them to take care of the queen. A good, strong and quality queen means a strong and productive hive. Watching out for the queen keeps everyone happy and healthy. It is true what they say, “if mama’s not happy – nobody’s happy!”
Of course, Colorado Hemp Honey’s queen bees get a little help from The Bee Shepherd, Nick French. Over the last five years, he has worked to cultivate the local queens from survivor colonies year to year instead of only importing new queens. Lots of bees coming into Colorado aren’t used to altitude and the weather changes and it creates challenges which can impact the colonies. The fluctuation in temperatures in the Colorado climate can also be tough on the entire hive!
“We take survivor colonies and try to grow new queens to keep those genetics going and raise more bees that are acclimated to our climate,” said Nick. “This is the time of year that we start to raise new queens off the survivor colonies because we know that they have acclimated well. We want to help raise Colorado queens.”
This method helps with the colonies’ survival during the next year and ultimately helps reduce losses year after year. Nick has worked this approach during his last five years of beekeeping. Sometimes it is successful and sometimes it’s not. Most years, he will be able to raise five to ten new queens which can ultimately help increase the strength in colonies and reduce costs which brings more raw, local Colorado raw honey to you!
Do you have any questions about queen bees or beekeeping in general? If so, you can email Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.