On April 14, we picked up five new queen bees packages from Honey Bee Genetics. Our intent was to kick of 2012 for B-Haven Apiary.
But first I had to get the apiary ready for the new beehives. If you will recall from B-Haven’s 2011 Annual Report, all four of last years hives died; they did not make it through the Winter and Spring. As a result I decided to employ a Hive Nucleus in the apiary.
I had two supers (20 frames) of honey and pollen left over from last year. I set up four new beehives plus the nucleus. I placed four honey/pollen frames in each empty hive – to give the new hives a good start.
This year, our youngest son-in-law (Mathew Togami) was nice enough to assist me in installing the new beehives. When we went to install the first new hive, we had quite the surprise. A swarm had moved in and taken over – awesome!
Installing Hive Nucleus
So we left the swarm alone and installed the four new beehives and nucleus. I had to rebalance the old honey/pollen frames. So instead of four old frames per hive, we used three old frames in two of the hives, four old frames in three of the hives, and 2 old frames in the nucleus.
All of the new hives look good. The new hives consist of four pounds of bees and a caged queen. I will check in three days to make sure that the new hives have released the queens from their cages. The swarm hive is on a single super. The four new hives are all on a single super. The nucleus is on two supers since each super is only five frames.
In my next bee blog, I will report on how queen acceptance is going. Did the new hives accept their queens? And how is the swarm hive doing?