Since my hive was queenless, there was no need to remove the existing queen before installing the new one. If that is needed, GirlNextDoorHoney advises removing her 24 hours in advance.

My friend arrived and this was the first time where I would be the person working the bees. So exciting! She had brought me a frame from one of her hives to swap out with one of my empty ones, this way I had some honey and drawn out comb. It would have been ideal to have uncapped brood, but it wasn’t possible this time.

We lit the smoker, made a plan for all that we would do this time, and then we put on our hats and veils. My suit hasn’t arrived yet, so I’m still borrowing her spare veil and wearing a heavy flannel shirt with jeans. We opened the hive and removed a couple frames to make space allowing us to more easily see the rest of the hive. Most of my frames are empty, which made the process go faster, but we still checked each of them. There were more bees inside the hive than I’d thought! They were mostly on one frame with a few on a second. They’d even made some comb with a few pollen and honey cells. We carefully checked the frames for any sign of a queen and, finding none, attached the new queen (I’ve named her Aliènor) to the frame brought by my friend. We slid that frame in next to the frame where the bees had started building and shifted everything slightly more towards the center. Now the wait begins as the bees cannot be disturbed for a week while they release the queen from her cage, and, hopefully, accept her. We’ll see tomorrow!

Unfortunately, I was so excited about the new queen and working with the bees that I forgot to take any pictures or ask to have any taken. So here is a picture of my hive. Hopefully, the queen has been released and all are happily preparing for eggs and babies soon.