17 May 2013 7:24pm | Posted by Alex
Yesterday evening we opened up the hive to take a first look at how they're settling in. It looks good in there. They've begun making use of all 4 of the empty frames they got when we installed them into the hive body. There are healthy looking larva and plenty of capped brood, even on some of the new frames, so the queen has clearly been busy. We haven't seen her yet, but with all the evidence of her activity we're not worried.
This year we interleaved the additional frames with the 5 from the nuc, which isn't what what the books recommend (mostly they say to keep the existing frames in exactly the same pattern that they come in), but seems to be encouraging them to spread throughout the hive body better than last year. They had covered the frames they had densely enough that we added the second hive body. It's frames are just undrawn foundation, but if the spring keeps up like it has so far they should be drawing those out soon.
This afternoon, the weather was perfect and they were, well, busy as bees.
29 April 2013 12:38pm | Posted by Alex
Remember how surprised we were in mid-winter that the bees had made it that long? Well, unsurprisingly they didn't make it all the way to spring. This year we're moving the hive to the other side of the property so they aren't disturbed by the noise and wind of traffic. Between that and giving them a full hive body of drawn comb to start off, we're hoping that our hive will be a pleasant enough place to live that they won't swarm. Here's hoping.
Last night I went over to Merrimack Valley Apiaries in Billerica to pick up a Nuc. We'd ordered one last fall, figuring either we'd need it or we wouldn't mind a second hive. Good choice, as it turns out we sure needed it. Bees are surprisingly calm around dusk and the nuc was in a mesh bag under a sheet, so the car ride was quiet. But they were angry to be opened up just at sunset and moved into the hive. One tenacious little lady in particular followed me around for five or so minutes after I'd finished, repeatedly crashing into my veil, so I wandered around the yard until she got distracted and went home. This morning they're out in full force, busily mapping the neighborhood.
14 January 2013 2:59pm | Posted by Alex
It's well over 50 degrees today and the bees are stirring!