Useful Tips

How to find a uterus in a hive?


This question arises for many beginning beekeepers when it is necessary to replace the old uterus with a young one.

In the summer, about 50-60 thousand bees are in the average bee family - and all of them are in motion. In addition, the uterus moves faster than bees and skillfully hides among them. She can quickly and quietly crawl from one side of the frame to the other. Among this moving mass of bees, you need to see the uterus and catch it. It is best to carry out this work at about 12 pm, when many bees are in the field. Inspection of the framework should be done sequentially, slowly and carefully several times on one side and the other. Put the proven frames on the other side of the nest, while making sure that the bees do not crawl from the unreviewed frames to the verified ones. When you see the uterus, it is best to cover it with a cap of metal mesh. If you just try to take the uterus and do it unsuccessfully, then the uterus can fly up - and you have to start all over again. This method of finding the uterus is good in a hive with 18-20 frames.

The second way is simpler. It is necessary to make a frame of metal mesh with longitudinal holes of 4.5 mm. Put it in the middle of the nest and overtake the bees through the net from one half of the nest to the other. Bees will pass through such an opening, but the uterus and drones will remain. Previously, such nets were sold in Beekeeping stores to block the main nest from the store. You can pick up such a grid from grain cleaning machines and use it as a partition in the hive.

You can find the uterus in this way. Just before sunset in warm and dry weather, when the bees cease years, spread a white sheet near the hive. Then take the frame from the hive and shake the bees on it. A number of bees will immediately fly into the hive, and the rest will slowly crawl along the sheet. The uterus moves among the bees, which mainly go in the same direction. Without making sudden movements and kneeling in front of the sheet, carefully observe the movement of the bees. In less than 5-6 minutes, you will see the uterus. Cover it with a cap. If you try to take it, but do not have time, but only touch it, then it can return to the hive. There are times when she flies a little and sits back on a sheet, but a mostly infertile uterus takes off.

After the uterus is caught, move the sheet to the entrance and place the board. Bees crawl together in a hive. Let this family feel that it is orphaned, i.e. plant the second uterus not immediately, but in the morning. And the bees will definitely accept it. In addition, do not plant the uterus from somewhere brought or from another breed. It is best to use queens from the highly productive families of your apiary, then you will always be with honey.

When going to the apiary, you must always observe the strictest hygiene. Bees do not like pungent odors (alcohol, tobacco, sweat, cologne, etc.) and movements. If a bee flies near your nose, do not try to wave it away with your hand, but simply do not pay attention to it. She will spin one or two minutes and fly away.

You can rub your hands and face a little with pure propolis or lift it from the smoke. It is advisable that you have clothing specifically designed for work in the apiary.

Read other articles on this topic here.

What does a queen bee look like?

The queen bee is the main component of the entire bee clan. It serves as the basis of the entire family, organizes its work, lays eggs, from which new individuals will later emerge, such as drones, young uterus and working bees.

Bee uterus eggs and larvae

Its life cycle is quite long and ranges from 4 to 9 years, but most beekeepers do not hold the same uterus for more than 2 years. The fact is that her most productive work is only 2 years, after which the level of oviposition decreases, which negatively affects the number of individuals in the family, and hence the volume of raw materials produced.

The appearance of the bee head is not the same as that of the other bees. The size of the working bee varies from 1.2 cm to 1.4 cm, the drone from 1.5 cm to 1.7 cm, and the length of the uterus is from 2 cm to 2.5 cm.

The above indicators can vary depending on the time of year and the characteristics of the breed, at the same time, a more distinct body is a slender body and a rounded abdomen that extends beyond the edges of the wings. The uterus has a sting, but it does not pose a danger to humans and is used only for defensive purposes against other queens.

A lot of beekeeping manipulations involve removing the uterus from the hive. In order to find it, you need good eyesight, reaction and perseverance. Finding an unlabeled uterus in the hive is quite difficult, but certainly fascinating. You need to look for it within the framework, and it is best done in the spring in clear and sunny weather.

To do this, you need to open the lid of the hive and use smoke. When he calms the bees slightly, it is necessary to carefully pull out the frames and carefully examine them. Given the fact that the uterus is afraid of light, it is necessary to examine the lower edge of the frame and at the same time, study the frame that is still in the hive. If you're lucky, then the main bee can be found already on the first two or three structures, but it is better to be patient. You need to examine them quickly, but very carefully, the uterus can try to quickly hide in the shade, but it is clearly visible among relatives with its round belly. If there are a lot of eggs on the frame, then the bee will be right here or quite nearby. When it is detected, with clean and dry hands you need to gently grab it by the abdomen and hold it with your thumb and forefinger gently and without squeezing. It is best to pre-cook a small container or box with a lid in order to place the uterus there. After the uterus is located in a safe place, you can perform the necessary manipulations with the hive and bees.

Bee tags

The uterus is marked with special markers, this action will further facilitate the search for a bee in the hive, and also by the color of the markings it will be possible to determine the year of birth of this individual. To do this, it is enough to catch the bee’s head, gently pressing it with a cap, mark the head with the desired color and wait until the paint dries.

There is a generally accepted international labeling system that can be followed:

  • white - 2011, 2016,
  • yellow - 2012, 2017,
  • red - 2013, 2018,
  • green - 2014, 2019,
  • blue - 2015, 2020.

Summing up the above, we can conclude that bees bring us many benefits, and the queen bee contributes to the prosperous existence of the entire bee family and its offspring. Also, the quantity and quality of born insects and the honey they produce depends on the competent work of the beekeeper.