Introducing the Queen to Brooklyn

Why do they say the third time is the charm? We don’t know, but we’re hoping it’s true: we’re putting our third queen into our apiary this year, and we’ve got all available green thumbs and fingers crossed that this time, she takes.  The first queen was a bust, the second queen (curiously deliveried at night in a paper bag)  failed to win over the drone-laying workers–so we’ve got high hopes for this lady, a beautiful Georgian girl.  Hopefully, her commanding hormones will spread through the hive quickly and clearly, supressing the egg-laying hormones of the virgin laying workers (who can only lay male bees, or drones). This hive in particular (of our three, including one top bar hive) has been directionless since its spring colony introduction.  The bees haven’t built much comb, and we’re still at one super after a rich nectar flow this spring.  Beekeeper Meg Paska told us sometimes a rejected queen will be killed by the colony.  When we put this third queen cage in, Meg helped us look for immediate signs of acceptance.  When the queen cage is introducd and the bees begin to bite at the cage with their mandibles, that’s no good.  But looking closely, yes, we saw the little reddish tongues of the workers sticking into the cage, trying to feed the new Queen.  A peace offering!  A sign of the worker-bee-kowtow to a new royal!  All right: good luck, girls–we’re counting on you!