Five Rivers Bee Club Monthly Minutes May 18, 2021

Meeting was called to order by Lonnie Perry at the Hardy Civic Center in Hardy Arkansas.

Johnny Niswonger gave opening prayer.

We had 37 folks in attendance (26 members + 11 guests).

Minutes of April 20, 2021 -  William Kaebler made motion to accept and Dan Morthland 2nd – all approved as read.

Treasurer Report - $789.98 (all books are open to any member)

Next home visit will be Saturday, May 22 at Dan Morthland’s home.  If there, please take pictures and send to Jacque for the Photo section of the website. More information visit the Events page of the website.

Dan donated a Queen trap to the club.  Lonnie has it in his possession.  It is a prototype, you take a whole frame, place it inside this trap, remove the queen, place the container in freezer.  This kills any mites and pests that are associated with bees.  Then you place frame back in hive, get another frame and repeat process.   Call Dan if you wish to learn more.

Lonnie brought in an observation hive and had folks try to find the unmarked queen.   That was quite enjoyable to do.  Thank you.

Lonnie spoke on Queens tonight. Bees will split and swarm, it is in their nature to do so.  Be ready when this happens, have your swarm box / lure box at the ready. 

Do not place it too high up, the queen may leave.

He passed out a 6 week lifespan of honey bee queen.  See attached page.

A queen only mates once and carries enough sperm for her lifespan.  She may do her mating flight more than once and will go further away to find non-family members to mate with.  Some queens (25-30%) after their mating flight may not make it back to the hive.   Watch your hive for this.  If a Queen does get eaten by a predator or is not doing well and the hives wish to replace her, you will see Queen cells at the bottom of a frame.

What is a Supersedure Cell?

When a colony is raising a new queen to replace the aging, ill or missing queen, they produce supersedure cells. The new queen that emerges from the cell will take over from, or supersede, the old queen. To boost the odds of producing a healthy new queen, the colony creates several supersedure cells at the same time. In most cases, the first one to emerge will become the new queen.

Beekeepers usually find supersedure cells on the comb face, extending out from the surface and hanging downwards. With most varieties of honey bees, the colony will produce between one and three supersedure cells at one time.

You can carefully remove one / two of these and place on a new frame with some bees and start a new hive this way, if you wish.

What is a Swarm Cell?

By contrast, swarm cells produce a new queen to take the place of the one preparing to leave the hive. Typically, the bees produce many swarm cells and the strongest of these new queens take over the production of new brood for the colony.

You can do an artificial swarm before they do it on their own.   This is a good video on how it works.

Lonnie said the book that he always went to when he started years ago was called ABC XYZ.  We have it here as a .PDF. Link here to read it.

Some folks mark their queen.  Each color represents a year.  A marked queen is beneficial because it aids the beekeeper in identifying the queen more quickly, thus knowing where the queen is so as not to accidentally kill her. It also allows us to keep detailed records on a specific queen, particularly her age and performance.

What color or choose?
Unfortunately there isn't a large color swatch to choose from. In fact there is an international color code for bees. This allows you to tell the age of any a marked queen.

Year ending:


5 or 0


6 or 1


7 or 2


8 or 3


9 or 4


For example if you re-queened a queen in 2012 - you would put a yellow dot on her thorax.

If you are wishing to raise Queen cells, grafting is the way to go BUT you should be an experienced beekeeper before under taking this technique.  Grafting is the action of transferring a larva from a brood cell into a manufactured cell cup. This technique allows beekeepers to create any number of queen cells that are easy to handle and transport.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Next meeting is 15 June 2021 at the Hardy Civic Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Jacque English

Reach - Teach – Keep