Saturday, May 9, 2015

Feeding the Nuc and Watching the Hive Entrance

Since we decided to keep the nuc here in our bee yard and not take it away we will keep it closed up until tomorrow or Monday. So this morning I went out and gave the new home a half gallon of sugar water and dripped some lemon essence in the hive to give it a distinctive smell. Hopefully when we open the door and the girls go out to work, they will find their way home to the right hive instead of going back to their old home. We plan to also shift the hive a quarter turn so the entrance is not in the same plane as the mother hive. That may also help them orient to the right door.

I watched the bees in the parent hive for about fifteen minutes. Lots of activity but very few bees bringing in pollen which is necessary for brood feeding. Since brood is reduced before swarming that is probably not a good sign.

I think it's probable that swarming is going to happen and we can only hope we are around and see it so we can capture the bees. I hate to think of losing half the hive. Last year after that happened it took us the entire season to get the mother hive "queen right." And that is the weak hive we have now. It seems to be a little stronger. the past few days with more bee activity and lots of girls bringing in pollen. We plan to check that hive, perhaps on Tuesday, and see if there is any sign of a laying queen. Russians are so slow to get going that we may not see anything yet, but it's possible since they had a supersedure cell in there about a months ago.

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