June 21, 2020 – life was ‘busy’ the last two weeks, so I didn’t do an update last week. Long story short, I attempted to make my own queens by transferring young larve from from a frame to some plastic queen cups.
There are probably many reasons why it failed (I glued the cups down, didn’t let the bees clean the cups out first, etc.), but hopefully I have more success next time.
I made quite a few more medium honey supers (teal), a few nuc boxes (red) and a deep box (grey) in hopes of using them soon.
Overall the hives were progressing. The honey supers had some nectar and comb being built, the hives weren’t showing signs of swarming, and overall they were being much less aggressive.
The problems were that two of my three new queens were missing (presumably killed by their own bees for not being strong enough) and the other Shoreview hives were showing little progress after adding empty frames so the queen would have room to lay.
This week had more progress and fewer problems than last. The nuc that was supposed to be my queen rearing colony didn’t do anything, but I took that frame out and they now have a frame of eggs from the new queen who is rockin’ it. The other queenless hive had a huge queen cell and it looks like she is out, but there was no sign of her being mated.
Hive left had a few swarm cells so I took those frames and made a new nuc colony (on evaporator you the right) and tried to give them new frames for the queen to lay into. That hive had a pretty good amount of nectar in the supers, so I added another box, now two high.
The middle hive continues to do very well it already had two supers and had filled 30% with nectar and most have comb drawn out. I think this is just the beginning of the flow, so I’m hoping to get quite a bit of honey from them. I also took out two frames of eggs to complete the double nuc I started with the previous colony.
Finally, hive right continues to progress in numbers, although they hadn’t really touched the honey super I put on top. Can’t win’em all I guess.
Overall I have a total of 12 total hives, but 6 are currently queenless (but in progress). I did just purchase 6 virgin queens for a gentleman from Illinois that should come next week, so I may be making even more colonies and using the strongest queens to get through winter. I also have plans to move some of my hives to a location in White Bear, perhaps in the next two weeks.