June Frame

June Frame

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday update...

I decided to try my hand at doing some grafting today.  Thank goodness I was able to have a friend come over and show me how to do it.  Trying to get the grafting tool to work well - was a real challenge.  I think I've tried, now we'll see what happens.  It all started like this ...

About 30 minutes before I expected Scott over I put in a cloake board to try and split the hive.  I'd decided that I wanted to make some queens from my big Nuc Bomb box before the year ended.  I have 3 pretty full deep boxes stacked together in this box, so I just lifted up the top 2 boxes, smoked them - and put in the cloake board.  I know the queen wasn't in the very top box, but not sure if she was in the middle one.  The entrance is now facing backwards, so I'll have to watch myself whenever I'm behind all the hives now.  I also put in a divider in between hive 2, thinking that I might graft from it also - but didn't.  I noticed that I had a lot of SHB in Hive 2, so Scott has some disposable traps and I put a couple in there.

 Anyway, by the time Scott had gotten over here I'd already found a nice frame with plenty of eggs in it (from the top box on the Nuc bomb) and we proceeded to graft some.  We grafted about 20 eggs, so hopefully I'll get 6 to 8 out of this and then maybe be able to get another nuc box for the winter.  I put the single, double-stacked frame with the grafted eggs back in the top box.  This box has 2 deep's with a cloake board between the bottom board.  The cloake board is 'shut' but I don't know if the queen is in the middle box or not - so we'll see what, or how they do with the grafted queen cups.

We determined that in Hive 1 where I'd taken the last split (see previous posting) that there were about 10 queen cells between several frames across the 2 different 4-frame nuc boxes on top.  Not thinking, or remembering what I'd done in the past - I decided to make a split from this with 1 frame containing about 8 queen cells, some pollen and honey frames.  We shrank this hive down to a single deep box and I'll check it in a few days to see how the queen cells are doing.  It has a good number of bees in it so it should be ok.  Another split made.

We decided to look over 2 new hives I'd made and found something interesting.  One the split I put into a 'normal' 10-frame deep box, we found a lot of eggs and a really healthy queen.  I'd seen her before, but need to keep the feed on them so they keep drawing out and creating lots of egg laying room for her.  There are about 4 frames she can lay in now, so I should be ok without checking on here in about a week.

In the 4-frame nuc, I make last Friday and added another frame into (see previous posting) we noticed the queen.  Apparently I'd missed the queen from Hive 1 whenever I made that last move so she's already taken out all the other queen cells and is 'the queen' now.  It was funny as I was showing Scott the frame with, what I thought had all the queen cells on it, to have a marked queen on that frame.  I've been lucky so far in making nuc's and hives, but this is a first to have made a 'marked' queen.  Guess not many people can say that, huh ???

I've also refilled the 5-gallon feeder and they are working on it pretty good.  I'm going to keep this up for awhile for at least a couple of reasons -

   1. It's helping the hive's I've split load up for the winter, and
   2. It's helping to keep any hive-robbing down.

more later ...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Another split ..

As I was encouraged about the previous split, I decided to make another one on Friday (6/28).  I decided this time to try and create one with/from my Nuc bomb.  All was going well on  Monday whenever checked them and they had taken the 3 queen cells as started creating some queens.  Even though I put a (almost) whole frame of honey in with them, I was still feeding - but this time with only sugar water.  I wanted them to keep they 'energy' level up.  I took 3 frames along with 2 other shakes and created the nuc.

On Monday, things were going well whenever I checked on them.  I noticed that for some reason, I was starting to get some more robbing going on - so I shut them up during the day, and opened them up at night.  I checked on them yesterday and decided to move them over to another location, and change out the solid bottom board with a full-screened one.  Remember, this nuc now has a top entrance, and not the bottom.  My experiment to see how they will 'take' to this. 

Whenever I moved them and changed out the bottom, I noticed about 100 dead bees in there from all the (robbing) fighting I presume but they still seemed to have enough bees to cover the brood.  I decided to swap a frame out, and take 4 shakes over just to be on the 'safe' side.  Talk about something fun ... everyone need to experience this type of fun with about 500 bees flying around trying to determine what just happened.  I hate I lost all those bees, but have increased the numbers up so they should be ok.  I don't have the opening closed at this time and haven't noticed any robber bees so I think I might have this under control.  The previous location is still experiencing allot of activity where the nuc was, as I left a dummy/blank nuc there just to aggravate them.

Anyway, I'll update back in a few days whenever I get back into them and see what's going on.  At this time, there are 3 queen cells and they have already started to fillagreed them - so hopefully in a week, I'll have another colony.   :)