Monday, January 6, 2014

The Crawleys & the ill-fated reign of Queen Wilbanks

Oh Crawley family... I have missed you so.

I am just hooked and have been since the beginning.  Downton is just another world that I love to visit.  
I can't wait to see where this season takes us. 

Watching Downton last night reminded me of a little 'royal' drama I had this past August.  I began bee keeping this past year.  We went on vacation in August for 2 weeks.  Everything looked good before we left but there was succession afoot!

Long story short, it appeared that my bees tried to make a new queen and offed the old one, poor Queen Talulah(rest her tiny little bee soul).  However, offing Queen Talulah is fine if there is a new queen laying eggs, but there was no sign of a new queen and my hive was in danger of dwindling and not making it through the winter.

Enter Queen Wilbanks...

She was beautiful and as lovely as her name implies with a Tiffany blue dot on her back to mark her.  I was warned to keep her extra safe.  The worry was that there was a queen in the hive, although not being productive.  I was told I would know or should know pretty quick.  What my bees told me was that they were 'all set'.  They didn't need no hoity toity Queen Wilbanks coming in.  They made their own queen and she was going to start laying in her own sweet time, which of course she did... 2 days after I paid the $25 for Queen Wilbanks.  There were a few bees that just plunked down on that queen cage and tried to sting her.  It was fascinating and here is how it went down...

What this past year of beekeeping has taught me is to trust my instincts.  My bees were never aggressive but I noticed a hugh change with them once Queen Talulah was gone.  They were calm as could be.  When I would open the hive they were like, "Oh, Hi" and then just go about their business.  That is the sign of a happy hive and a hive is happy because they are happy with their queen.  

Queen Wilbanks was passed on to another bee keeper in need of a queen.  Now I have Queen Lucy.  A little scrappy and knows her roots.  She is a queen hailing from the great state of Massachusetts.  I am hopeful she will pull the girls through the winter and we will have a happy hive come spring.

1 comment:

Bee Lady said...

So cool that you are beekeeping! I've been beekeeping since 2003 and have never had a year such as this one. 17 below and 17.5 inches of snow. I'll be surprised if any of my hives live through this.

I love DOwnton Abbey and was glad for them to start season four, but I could hardly stay awake for the whole two hours. I hope they play it again.

Cindy Bee