Since the installation of four beehives on the roof of the WRAL-TV studios at Capitol Broadcasting’s headquarters on Western Blvd, the new inhabitants have been hard at work.
Of the four hives, the CBC Hive is currently the strongest and fastest growing. In fact, the CBC Hive is doing so well, that Bee Downtown Founder Leigh-Kathryn Bonner and her team will be moving some of the brood, the term used for bee frames that the queen has laid eggs on, to the other hives to even out the strength of the hives.
Bonner shared that the WRAL Hive has a special story this month. Since she’s a third-generation beekeeper, we thought we’d use her words to describe this phenomenon:
A beehive is extremely intelligent and is incredibly in tune with their queen. A healthy, well-mated queen, will lay about 1,000 eggs per day in the hive. When a queen isn’t well-mated she won’t lay as many eggs and her hive will decided to make a new queen instead in hopes that she will mate better and lay more eggs for their hive.
When we went into the hives last week we found that the WRAL hive had decided to get rid of their original queen and make a new one. We could tell this because there were queen cells throughout the hive (the look like peanuts and sit vertically on the frames).
Normally we would let the hive re-queen on its own but because we are getting into fall there are less male bees for the queen to mate with. To insure we had a strong queen we ordered one from an awesome NC queen breeder. She came in the mail (yes, we said the mail) on Thursday. We removed all of the queen cells the hive had made and on Friday installed the new queen.
This week we will be keeping a close eye on the hive to see if they will accept the new queen. If not, we will order another and try again. So WRAL team…keep your fingers crossed they like their new queen!
Thanks to Leigh-Kathryn Bonner for these capcom photos.