So if you remember back to this post, I had decided that my area was not conducive to rearing queens and decided the bring my nuc with queen cups up to my brother’s for a few weeks to see if that area was better. I had previously tried twice to have a queen hatch, mate, and return to lay eggs in my yard, without any success.
Last night I headed up to my brother’s with the family and hopes of having a nuc with a laying queen. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my bee jacket, so I needed to be careful not to agitate them too much. I headed out to the spot I put the hive and all seemed quiet, not such a great sign. Instead of cracking the hive open right there, I decided to seal the whole thing up for transport.
(This is the part where my wife points to the dangers of having bees. I sealed what I thought was everything, put the hive in the van and let it sit for a while to make sure it was in fact sealed before we brought it home. It ended up that three bees had found a way out and were flying around the van when I opened it 10 minutes later. I found the hole and sealed it up. Although she did a great job of worrying about my driving with the bees in the back, we didn’t have any issues the rest of the night.)
Before church I opened the entrance so the bees could orient and be ready for the day. After church and the Vikings opening win, I went out to inspect the hive. First frame I pulled out, only nectar. The second frame was a lot darker, but I thought I saw something.
Eggs? I wasn’t about to get my hopes up, but was excited to check frame three.
This tome it was much clearer. And then, on the other side of the frame…
Queen bee! I officially had two hives with queens! I checked the last frame, put in a pollen patty and syrup, and sealed it up. I’ll need to buy some frames so this hive can keep growing upwards.
My next challenge will be identifying how I should prepare them for the winter ahead. Should I split the bees and resources of my main hive to give this hive a better chance of survival? Should I keep them separate and put the nuc in the garage to protect it from the elements? Or just wrap it up like the other hive and hope it will collect enough food before old man winter comes a callin’? Decisions, decisions.
Did you know? The yellow (goldenrod) and white (buckwheat) flowers you see in the ditches over the next few weeks are a major source of nectar and pollen for the bees as they ramp up for the winter.