August 18, 2018 – While I did leave the main, queenright hive for a few days so the queen could do her work, I also set up my nuc right next door in hopes that the bees would use one of the frames of eggs to make their own queen.
This is my second hive, a double nuc box that I made. The bottom box is just like those in the main hive, except it has a divider in the middle of the inside (about where the blue and brown meet). This allows me to potentially have two hives within one box, sharing the same space. Each side has an opening on the bottom board (you can see the opening on the blue side), while the reverse side is identical but painted a different color (in this case yellow). The colors are painted different so when the bees orient themselves, they know which hive to go back to.
When I checked this hive on the 18th, I saw a couple of beautiful queen cups!
Knowing the troubles I had with queen-rearing at my place, I decided to bring that entire nuc up to my brother’s land near Andover. I’m hoping it’ll have a fighting chance there and will just bring it back home in a week or so when I go back to check on it’s progress.
Here are me and the boys checking to see if the nuc had made any queen cups.
Here is one of my largest frames of capped honey (the white stuff on the top of the frame)Me checking out the frames to see if the new queen was laying eggs.As I was inspecting the main hive, I noticed there was small hive beetle larva (small lines on the orange patty) on the pollen patty I had given them. I promptly took that out and sealed it up.
Lastly, the bees have been making some strange comb off of the frame instead of putting it right on the plastic foundation. I’ve been removing it and brought some of it in to my classroom for the students to see.
Did you know? A single hive will ball up and form a huge cluster of bees to stay warm. Two hives that share a double nuc box will cluster together on both sides of the dividing wall and share the warmth that the opposite hive gives off.