We have our annual trip down to the Winona County Fair this week, so I had to adjust when I went into the hives. I’ve also made some new wooden ware for the bees, so I wanted to get the nucs into regular deep boxes so they could begin building up for the winter.
I was told there was a lot of nectar/honey in the grey boxes, but I was still amazed at what they had packed in. By the end of searching through the hive, it was clear that the queen was honey bound, or in other words, had no place to lay eggs because there was so much honey/nectar.
Nearly every frame in the hive was either full of honey/nectar, or completely empty. We didn’t find Beeyoncè or any signs of her the first time through. Her green dot was nearly removed, but Toby caught sight of her on nearly the last frame as we went back through. Previous to spotting her, we’d seen quite a few queen cups, one nearly fully drawn, and thought she may have died. The hive was PACKED with bees, by far my most populated. After seeing her, we destroyed the cups and set all of the full honey frames above the queen excluder. They still hadn’t drawn anything in the green honey super, but may have by now! Needless to say, we will have some honey this year!
Nuc right was doing well, but still wants to swarm. I will be putting it in its own deep this week.
Middle hive has the new laying queen and is doing pretty well. They got four new frames last week and didn’t do anything with them, but the queen is laying well.
Nuc left was queenless!! AAHH! I was hoping I was past that stage, but there were a half dozen queen cups and no eggs, so she must have died since I was last in there. The bee total was consistent with where it was at last week. I did destroy all of the cups due to inferiority and placed in a frame of eggs from the middle nuc. This is something I couldn’t have done last year with only one hive.
Three Main Hives:
The swarm hive is trying to swarm 🤦♂️. The queen looked really lethargic and didn’t have excess room to lay eggs. I added a super in hopes they’d move the nectar and pollen up and give her room. If I see she’s not willing to stay again next week, I may just remove her to the other queenless hive, move all of the bees to a different hive and use all of the resource comb as needed for the nuc to deep transitions.
The middle hive is absolutely rocking it. Queen Elizabeth has her subjects drawing comb in the first super and is laying eggs all over both the top and bottom deeps. This is by far my most organized and efficient hive.
Hive left, which just got the laying queen last week, is working on building up and may be a good candidate for the swarm bees. No real progress on drawing out the supers with nectar.
Oak Grove Hives:
Hive right I just checked to make sure it wasn’t ready to swarm. It wasn’t and the queen was laying pretty well on the top box.
Hive left had a new queen that should be laying at this point, but when I cracked it open they were so aggressive I shut the box up. I’ll have to come back to them in a few weeks.
Next steps: move all queen right nucs to Oak Grove in their own deep hives, solve the issues in the swarm hive, check on Nuc left to see how the queen raising is going, and check all hives for nectar/honey!