Divide and rule

Top left: bees forming an orderly queue to join their sisters in the new split
Top right: now that’s what I call a perfect frame: honey on the outside, capped brood in the centre and open brood surrounding it
Middle left: queen cells on the go in the split we made last week, on what we had assumed was an emptry frame
Middle right: a very healthy A-hive
Bottom left: divide and rule: deciding on which frames to take for two splits plus one nuc
Bottom middle: we put the 3 frame nuc on the top balcony
Bottom right: the three splits are behind the house; we will keep the middle one, the other two are for sale once they have drawn up a queen who is showing signs of laying.

19 June 2016

Today was a pretty busy day: we split two more hives (B and C) and made a three frame nuc (nuc = short for nucleus, ie a small split with just a few frames) using a couple of queen cells from the split we created last week. They had LOTS of capped queen cells on the go, quite strange to see. But let’s hope a new queen will be born in the hive soon, we’d like to seel that one. We’d like to keep the split we made today from our original C-hive as the bees in that hive are so gentle and the queen is so fantastically productive – perhaps her offspring (now called the F-hive) – will be as good. The other split we made today was for a local beekeeper who lost a lot of his bees over the winter and is keen to buy a split. The three splits are behind the house. We put the nuc we created on a wooden palette on the upstairs balcony.

We actually saw 2 of the 5 queens: our original queen was busy laying eggs on a drone  frame and the B-hive queen was spotted on a normal frame. We know one more of Cecilia’s queens is marked (we saw her first time), but Laila’s is not and the one in the quite aggressive  E-hive is also unmarked.

Our NewBee Orani was supposed to come with his wife today, but he didn’t come. We’re hoping four more new faces will come next week. Fingers crossed!

So, this was today’s action – the order reflects the way in which the hives are situated in our garden, from right to left. From now on it is assumed drone combs are removed every week from the 3 part frames:

A-hive: no intervention
C-hive: expanded by an HLS box, split created (called F-hive)
B-hive: split created
D-hive: 2 part drone frame replaced by a 3 part frame
E-hive:  no intervention

Splits:
Removed a frame with 4 queen cells from split created from A-hive last week and made nuc (put on upper balcony)
Splits from the C- and B-hive are behind the house

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