|Two 3-box hives with a hive base ready for the split.|
We could have made a couple of nukes from Queen Anya's hive, but decided to just split it in half to discourage swarming. We saw the queen, a big beauty. She's in her third year and may swarm anyway, but hopefully by splitting we've created an artificial swarm and she'll think they did it already.
|Our bee yard with a new hive. Spring is all about growing!|
Then it will take another week or two for the queen to mate and start laying. So in the next three weeks we should see a new queen-right hive if all goes well. We're asking the intercession of St. Valentine, St. and St. Ambrose who are the patrons of beekeepers and St. Rita and St. Francis de Sales who also have associations with bees. With that powerhouse on board we can hardly go wrong!
Note in the picture on the right that the new hive is angled. That may help the bees not go back to the old hive although the ones in that hive likely will want to stay with the queen. We'll go out tomorrow and check the activity. Hopefully bees will be flying into both boxes carrying lots of pollen.
And as a matter of fact, despite the crazy weather the bees have been very actively working and bringing in pollen like crazy. Check out the photos of the busy bees below laden down with pollen to make bee bread which is a mixture of pollen, nectar, and bee saliva, a powerhouse nutrient to feed the brood.