Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Nuc we started last month is doing well. The queen is laying with a good pattern and the next step is to contact the Coordinator of the Nuc Program for the Guild to see who is next on the list. They will then bring their own box and we'll transfer the frames to it. The next day, they'll be able to take them home! (It's a 2-day process to make sure all of the forager bees return to the hive at night, when we'll close them in.) However, we want to be sure our own hives are both queen-right before we do this, so we're going to hold off a week (more on that later).
Our original hive had some swarm cells WITH LARVAE in them, which means they want to swarm. It's not a big deal, because that queen's wings are clipped, so she can't actually fly off with half the hive. She'll do a belly flop off the front of the hive and all the bees will congregate around her, at which point we'll go out and sweep them into a new Nuc. However, we took the frames that had the swarm cells and started another Nuc box with them. If all goes ideally, a month from now, those queen cells should be hatched, fertilized, and beginning to lay... and we can sell THAT Nuc to another new beekeeper.
In the hive that's had all the drama this spring, we saw some cells that had two eggs in them, which is a sign of a laying worker. However, we also saw enough capped brood in a good pattern to believe that there is indeed a queen. We'll go back in next week and hopefully have a better idea (which is exactly what I said LAST week...)