Barterability: Trading Fish for a Queen Bee


Join Lindsey as she takes you on a journey to re-queen one of our rooftop hives. For this project, we bartered a few koi and tilapia fish for a queen bee through a unique bartering system made possible through our Thrivers app.


0:00 ITM Trading
0:54 Bartering Fish for Queen Bee
2:10 How to Re-Queen a Hive
9:43 The Thrivers Community


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Hi everyone, it’s Lindsey. I’m here at the Urban Farm in our area where we keep our hives on the roof. And today I am going to be re-queening this hive in front of me. I was very graciously given a queen through a barter. We traded some tilapia and a couple koi for a new queen bee. So I’ve already killed the queen. She was killed this morning. They were not very affected by that change. They didn’t really seem to care all that much compared to when I’ve had to kill a queen in the past. Sometimes the bees are kind of frantic about it, but they were actually very unperturbed by the fact that I just smushed their queen. They were making swarm cells and emergency cells and these are both indications that they’re unhappy. She was still laying, so I’m just, I’m not sure if it was just the quantity wasn’t up to par for the bees in the hive, but something was wrong and it has been consistently wrong for a few weeks now. So it was time to get rid of her and re-queen and this is the best way to ensure that they don’t make their own queen. And then we have an Africanized hive, so better just to do it when we’re in control of the situation.

So I am going to do this as quickly as I can just to make sure that I bother them the least amount. So the steps are gonna be, I’m gonna take off the lid and the cover. I’m gonna take off this first box. She won’t be in here. We won’t be in here at all. And then we’re just gonna grab a frame in the lower box. I already have one picked out that I thought would be a good option. The way that I pick them is I just want a good mix of larvae or bees that are about to hatch. So if you see one bee hatch in an area, that’s a pretty good indication that more will and when those bees hatch, they’ll be in the cage with her and then that will give her a little group of bees that are accustomed to her straight away and will help take care of her. So I looked for that this morning. I think I found a good option. And then I’m, I didn’t find a frame that had a good spot of those hatching bees and honey. So there’s some honey on this frame and then there’s also some brood but I think this is the side that I was thinking would be the good option. So there’s a little bit of honey and then there’s this brood, which looks pretty mature. I didn’t see any bees popping. There might be a little bee popping out. Nope, that’s just all pink. So I think this is a good option. These were also frames that weren’t as populated. So just in terms of shaking all these bees off, it’s a little bit easier. So I’m going to remove all these bees as gently as I can, and then I’m gonna take this inside, put her in and then we’re gonna close it up. So they might get kind of crazy here for a second. I do have a brush that’s for this purpose, but I have to wash it. It has so much wax and perus on it. It’s not very gentle anymore, but it is a good tool to have. Everybody off. And then I just wanna make sure I get them all off and then we’ll just leave them for a second here.

Okay, so I’m gonna get rid of these and I’m just doing this inside just so it’s a little less hectic. So this is my push cage. It’s just hard wire mesh that we made into a rectangle. I’m just gonna make sure it’s all secure. And then I just have a little piece of sponge with sugar water that they can give to her. I’m not sure how many attendant fees are in here, so we’re just gonna kind of see what happens. I’m gonna put this down flat and then I’m gonna have my cage and my spot picked out. So I’m a little bit more put together here. Okay. So I think like right here might be a good option. It’s kind of like opening Pandora’s box <laugh>. I dunno what I’m gonna get. So I’m just gonna kind of open this and see what happens. So, oh, is she in a thing? She is. Okay. Okay, so she’s actually in a cage. So what I’m gonna do here we go okay. Do you guys want in there too? Okay, so let’s see. So she is in this with an attendant bee and I think I can just open this. Oh, yep. Okay. And then we’ll see if she, okay. The attendant bee came out. We’ll see if she comes out and then we’ll take this out. She doesn’t need that cage. Here we go. Come on, get off. Just make sure we’re real careful with her.

Then I’m going to just trap that guy in there. And then this will just be our, so not the section I originally kind of had in mind, but, and then I’m just pushing this into the frame as good as I can. You’re gonna kill some baby bees, but in the realm of the health of your hive, it’s not a big deal. Okay? And just be careful whenever you’re messing, we wanna make sure it’s secure. Otherwise they will, you know, find their way in there and kill her. They won’t accept her right away. And then this is the top. So then I’m gonna put this in the bottom. I should have done this before I pressed, but that’s okay. So we’ll give them the sugar water. Okay? And then, because there’s not like a ton of honey, I’m going to just take some of this from this frame. And then also just put this at the bottom. Not too much, but just enough that they can start to feed her and that they can feed themselves. So she has a red dot, all my queens do now and she has four attendant bees that will help take care of her.

Okay, and then I’m just going to put this screen back. So I’m gonna do one more check, make sure she’s okay and that this is as secure as it can be. And then I’m gonna put this in and the frame will also kind of hold it in place. Okay, good luck. And then I will probably check on this. Today is a Wednesday, so I will probably not check on her again until Monday.

Join us live on Thrivers for an update to see how our queen gets established. So now we’ve recleaned our hive and hopefully it sticks and everything works out. I’ll check again next week. Make sure she’s all settled. Sometimes they are able to get her out of the cage which is perfectly fine if that happens. Otherwise I will release her from the cage after it’s been about five days, five to seven days. And they have become acquainted to her. So that is the process of re-queening a hive. I really like using those push cages. They’re a really easy thing to make and they just make it a lot easier to manage. And just stepping away for a second away from the hive really helps too. So it’s just easier to protect yourself and make sure that the queen doesn’t get all crazy. But this is how I re-queen, the hives here at the urban farm. I hope this helps you through the hives. If not, I hope you just find it interesting. So stay tuned for more bee content and we will keep you updated on the progress.


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