Yes indeed…. had a bad year last year in the apiary. Mostly due to my mismanagement and the beetles got crazy and drove everyone away! I installed 3 packages on May 16th and the beetles took over one right away. So it looks like i’m going to freeze some frames and start over with a split.
Here is one of the packages 2 weeks after installment. I put them in one deep, inner cover, 5:3 syurp on top surrounded by a deep box. I figured that the girls needed some food to start since I missed my pickup date for the packages and the bees were sitting in the warehouse an extra day and they looked pitiful. I’m going to spit this one pronto!
As you can see, they ran out of room down below and started building comb in the empty box!
This morning it was 68°F so I was surprised that this Nuc was bearding like it was. Looks like I need to take a peak inside just to make sure this is just bearding and not a lack of space issue. I split this Nuc 2 ways several weeks ago since there were swarm cells on 3 frames. This Nuc was an overwintered one, split from one of my other hives. I ordered some queens from Rossmans for several of these nucs and this latest batch are the most gentle Italians that I have encountered. I don’t even smoke this Nuc or the other 2 that I split from this one. It’s nice to be able to do that! I have another colony that I’ll get popped just walking close by! So next week I’m going to dispatch that queen and try the OTS notch method with a frame from this nuc and hopefully that colony will raise a nice, gentle queen.
In case you are wondering, that white object is a playing card that I attached to the nucs since they were all painted the same color and are positioned close together. I figured that it might help with orientation.
The second picture shows the nuc and another colony sitting on a 10 foot section of Rohn 20 (radio tower). Finally found a good use for them!
Wow… with all my other websites… I didn’t I think I neglected this one so bad! Sorry folks!
Saturday I was getting ready to do inspections and most likely some splits. As I was getting all my tools ready, one of my overwintered Nucs decided to swarm. I wish I had taken video of it but I was anxious to try and split it before they actually swarmed. I know folks are probably saying why because when they decide to swarm, they are going to no matter what you do!
This queen that I got from Rossmans in Moultrie Ga last year produced the most gentle bees that I have encountered. This is the first hive (actually nuc) that I can work without smoke! I wanted to spread her genes out since I have 2 hot hives that I need to re-queen and I want to keep this line active so I can requeen the others.
As they were pouring out of the nuc and swirling in the air, I opened it up and did a quick inspection. I didn’t find my red dot queen from last year but I did see one supercedure cell and multiple swarm cells on 4 frames. The supercedure cell made me question what the heck was going on in the nuc but all I can figure is that either the queen just left or something happened to her. The brood pattern on 3 frames was awesome, almost a perfect oval and lots of capped cells. But I didn’t see any fresh eggs or larvae… so something was amiss.
At any rate, I managed to get two splits from this one nuc, adding some frames of brood and eggs from one of my other hives. I have to keep an eye on these two nucs and see how they will do in the next few days. I desperately want to keep this queens genetics going in the apiary.
This weekends weather is not going to be that great for any inspections or splits since there is a 50-70% chance of rain on Saturday & Sunday.