Hive Update 6/17/19

I’m a bit behind again, but not so far behind that I need to double update. At this point I’ve been going into the hive about once a week to make sure no hive is swarming, although at this point, things are calming down for the most part.

Here is a link to my new bee vocabulary post as a glossary if you need it.

Right nuc- As you may remember, this nuc was created when a hive from my yard was looking to swarm. Instead of taking out the queen cells, I took the queen out to make this nuc. So far she is doing just fine and laying into most of the cells. She no longer had interest in swarming.

Double nuc box- here’s where it gets crazy. The bigger box above is a double nuc, meaning two nucs in one big box with a dividing wall. If you remember back, these nucs were created using the aggressive bees that I brought up to my brother’s place. The right side of the box (brown) I introduced a Carniolan queen to and the left side (blue) I’ve been giving eggs to so they could make their own queen.

First I went into the right nuc, looking for the new queen’s progress. To my surprise, she was nowhere to be found, and I found no signs of her! Had she swarmed? Been killed by her new aggressive roommates a few days after I put her in there?

Upset with my luck with these bees, I opened up the left side of the nuc to see what was going on. Previously I had added a frame of eggs so they could begin making a new queen. To my surprise, as I investigated the hive there were new eggs in there. And on the second frame I pulled out this

The Carniolan queen had somehow moved from one side of the nuc to the other and was laying eggs! Needless to say, I wasn’t going to switch her back and have the other nuc kill her, so I kept her there and added a new frame of eggs to the right side so they could make there own queen.

Hive Right- One drawback to having so many hives is that what I thought was happening in a hive, can be completely wrong because of confusion (although I KNOW that isn’t the case with the queen swapping sides above).

Well, I thought hive right was the queenless one which was trying to make a queen, but after seeing the first few frames full of eggs and a queen, I was either mistaken or loosing my mind. Things looked pretty good in that hive as they were building comb and she’d started laying lots of eggs again. After watching a YouTube video of an experienced Russian man, I decided to try something new to force the bees to draw out the rest of the comb.

Instead of putting the frames back as they were, I staggered all frames so ever other frame was empty. So the outermost frame was packed with nectar, followed by an empty, a drawn frame with eggs, empty, a full brood frame, empty, etc. I did that in the bottom of the hive as well, so hopefully this works and they draw out all of the frames with honey comb.

Hive left – I opened this hive up hoping for some, ANY progress on drawing out the medium frames with comb; nothing. Down below there were many bees and this…

That is what a queen cup looks like after a queen has emerged. They should have a new queen! Hopefully by today she has been out mating and maybe even laying eggs. This would be the first queen to hatch, mate, and lay eggs from my yard. I’m looking forward to going in there this week and checking in to see if I find her or at least eggs.

Oak Grove Hives

Hive right – this is one of the Saskatraz hives I bought this spring. They are doing okay, although they had a few queen cups and the queen wasn’t laying eggs all over. They are in their second box and I once again staggered the frames to force them to draw more comb.

Hive left – This is the aggressive hive. Last time they stung me about 8 times. Saturday I came prepared with sweatpants. Things went pretty well and, although they were aggressive, I wasn’t stung. They were hopelessly queenless, meaning they had no queen and no eggs to make a queen, so I added a frame of eggs from my home hive, as well as the frames that had queen cups from hive right. I have no plans of going back in this hive until at least a month from now in hopes that it will get a queen that’ll be laying eggs by then.

Beeyonce Hive

This hive we checked on yesterday. If you remember from the last hive update, I named this queen Beeyonce due to her rock star hive. They didn’t disappoint once again. She is laying all over, there is a lot of brood to be hatched, and they are making a lot of honey.

This queen’s genetics are definitely the one whom I’m going to use as I try grafting the larve and raise my own queens, possibly this fall.

That’s all for now. I’d say so far everything is a success as no queen has swarmed and, for the most part, every queen is laying pretty well.

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