4/7/16: Pollen!

April 7th. Sunny and 71° in the heart of the Rockies. Pollen!



4/5/16: Added Nuc to Cut-Out Hive

I went down to Grandpa’s Bees, in Alamosa, and purchased a “scrawny” Nuc for $50.  I clearly saw the queen before purchasing (but I did not see her as I put the frames in the hive at home).  This Nuc was “scrawny” because it didn’t have many bees.  They had been being fed sugar water, and they had filled so many cells with it that the queen did not have an abundance of cells in which to lay eggs.  This was a 5-frame deep Nuc.

At home, I put four of the frames into an 8-frame deep box, discarding just one frame of honey after being sure that there were no bees on it.  I also placed in that box 4 frames of drawn comb so that the queen would have a lot of space for brood.  I set that box on the screened bottom board and added a single sheet of newspaper on top.

Of the three boxes holding the cut-out hive, I discarded the bottom one which just had a few bees on some of the old, cut-out comb I had rubber-banded into foundationless frames.  So, above the deep, with the new “scrawny” Nuc, above the sheet of newspaper, was the second box of old, rubber-banded comb and then a top box of frames of honey.  So, two mediums and one deep.

On top of all that, I replaced the top feeder that had the left-overs of the honey I had crushed and strained.

My plan is to leave them completely alone for two weeks and then do a hive check.

4/3/16: Hive Check

Sunny, very little breeze, and 66° at 2pm.  I checked the feral colony that I had cut-out and hived.  The foragers acted “queen-right,” and the bees were very docile and laid back when I opened up the hive.  But, I did not see the queen, and did not see eggs, larvae, or capped brood.  I also did not see that they were drawing-out any new comb.  They were mostly on a couple frames of their old comb in the middle box, and on the honeycomb I provided them with in the top box.

They had not been touching the sugar water that I provided for them in the top feeder, so I replaced it with the left-over honey and wax from when I crushed and strained the honeycomb I harvested when I cut them out.

These two photos show the bees that were on the old comb I kept from the cut-out.  I guess it’s possible that the queen is here, but why is she not laying if she is?

In the top photo, bottom-left, it looks like there are multiple eggs in some cells.  That means I have laying workers, which means no queen.  RATS!

hive check 01hive check 02