Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bee increase

Inspected the remaining outside hive yesterday.  Found the queen had completely laid up the 2 frames of comb I had inserted into the broodnest last Monday!  For a total of 6 (or more) frames of brood.  So, I made a split with the queen, 4 frames of brood, plus honey/pollen into a new 10 frame box and will continue feeding.

I left the original location with 2 boxes, all the foragers of course, and a new comb full of eggs.  (plus honey, pollen, and a frame or 2 of brood.)

The fun part was the long search for the queen.  I had to go back to the original hive and find her there.  I got her on my hive tool and put it down over the split and she walked right in.  Pretty cool.  It's nice with the new bee suit so I don't get so hot and have the patience and persistence to keep looking till I find her.

(Django playing with a drone.)
The original location hive now will have to raise a new queen.  Typically many queens are raised, but the first one to emerge from her cell goes around and kills all the others.  I plan to go back next weekend and any take any excess queen cells to start new hives.  This can supposedly be done with a frame of brood and a frame of honey, but I would worry that a hive that small would get robbed out.  We'll see how much  brood, honey and queen cells I end up with next week. I guess a hive that small with a frame of honey wouldn't need to be fed, which might help keep the robbers away.  (Or thief bees as Django calls them.)

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