Monday, March 31, 2008

Nuc Inspection and Move

I can’t find a queen to save my life, but I can always see the tell tales that there is one. The down under Queen has been doing her job in her new home for about 10 days, and is plenty evident by the capped and uncapped brood. The Nuc is on its way to being independent, and I performed a two day move to attempt to populate the TBH. Maybe I’m being a little inpatient, but I wanted to see bees in the TBH which I build.

On day one I inspected the Nuc, lifted it and placed it over some window screen. After sunset, when I was positive that all the bees would be inside, I closed the entrance.
The next day I prepared the TBH by placing 7 bars with a started strip, removed the 1st bar, and place the bar that has an entrance for the bees to enter the TBH from the Nuc. Then I moved the Nuc off Hive #1, replaced the cover on the hive, and used the screen I placed the day before to keep the bees in as I lifted the Nuc off the double screen. The Nuc moved a total of 3 feet east, 1 foot south, and rotated the entrance 180 degrees. Right now the Nuc has the original entrance and one on the top bar hive.
I wanted to keep the Nuc’s entrance close, but as I slowly pulled the screen away, the entrance reducers fell off, and before I knew it the bees poured out of the Nuc and began orientation flights, so I decided to let them be as you see it. Maybe I’ll close the top entrance soon, maybe I won’t. Either way, the bees in the Nuc should move down looking for more room soon enough. My hope is that they do it in a month. I would like to use these drawn out frames to kick start my bee packages that are due to arrive early May.

There is one danger when moving a hive. Some bees, but not all; always return to the previous location of the hive. All day long some bees came out to forage, and returned to the old spot. As the hive is no longer there they would fly in a small circle around the previous location, and then notice the new location. They would fly to the back, and walk around until they would find the front entrance.

As the day progressed, less and less bees would go to the old location. There is some interest in the TBH, mostly towards the wax I used to melt the foundation to the TBH. Should be exciting, unfortunately, the plexy glass will reflect too much, and the pictures of progress will not be as good as I had hoped.
Seven Top bars with foundation as view from the Inspection window

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