REQUEENING WITH A VACCINATED QUEEN

Posted July 2, 2024
by Hilary

I love doing bee rescue work. I get to see a lot of interesting wild hives and the problem-solving you have to do is so fun. There is a downside though, I live in an area where honey bee colonies are often defensive, especially feral ones. So, I sometimes have to requeen the colonies I rescue. I came across one such colony recently and decided this was the perfect excuse to try out a vaccinated queen from Dalan Animal Health! Read on to find out how it’s going.

Requeening Defensive Bees

Last month, I came across an interesting bee removal request: a beehive in an outdoor couch! To my surprise, the bees were not actually inside the couch, instead they moved in under the rain cover and started building comb directly on the couch cushions. As delighted as I was by their ingenuity, the process of transferring this colony to a proper hive was a little harrowing. The bees were extremely defensive and I received several stings. They even flew inside the house and stung the homeowner.

Vaccinated Queens: A New Option

I knew right away that I was going to need to replace the queen so after I got them settled in their new home, I went online and ordered a vaccinated queen bee from Mann Lake. You may have heard of Dalan Animal Health who has developed this new groundbreaking vaccine that protects honey bees from American Foulbrood. AFB is one of the most devastating diseases in beekeeping, but once I install this new queen, every egg she lays will have the protection of the vaccine making each bee resistant to AFB infection. How cool is that?

So, after I removed the defensive queen, I installed the new vaccinated queen bee into the hive. She comes in a little cage with a slow release candy plug that will protect her while the bees get used to her. I checked back one week later and the new queen was out and already laying tons of eggs. So far, so good! I am excited to see whether this colony shows an increase in health from the potential benefits of the vaccine, as some beekeepers have reported.

If you want take advantage of the new vaccinated queens in your own apiary, they are readily available now. Check out Dalan’s website to find a vaccinated queen retailer near you.  

This is a sponsored post for Dalan Animal Health.

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My name is Hilary Kearney. I’m the author of the book, “Queenspotting” and founder of the urban beekeeping business Girl Next Door Honey in San Diego, California. I’m an artist turned beekeeper on a mission to help new beekeepers succeed and educate the public about the magic of bees!

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