Sunday, April 10, 2011

Myrina's Nuc & New Queen

Today's weather was Sunny & warm which is what I've been waiting for to make the second Nuc.  Myrina's population is increasing rapidly and I've been worried about her swarming.  I did not plan for a full inspection.  Only to make the nuc and close everyone up afterward.

As I took it of i saw the bees had not begun to draw out the Honey Super.  Oh well!.  I started removing the frames from the top brood box.  Lots of bees, lots of capped brood cells, & lots of drone cells.  To look for eggs I had to push the bees around on the frames to see into the cells.  I was also looking for the Queen of course.  I meant to locate then isolate her before i took any frames for the nuc.

It didn't take long.  Queen Myrina was in the top box on frame #5.  Not the blue marked VSH daughter from 2010 but a new Unmarked queen!  Whoa!  I grabbed the marking tube from the tool box and chased her around the frame for a few seconds before i managed to catch her.  She was laid to the side for later.  Then I took the frame she was on and the 3 adjacent frames and put them in the Nuc; they had plenty of eggs.  I put an extra honey frame in the nuc and it was full.  A towel was placed over the nuc while I finished up with Myrina.

All 4 frames were replaced with drawn crimped-wire frames saved from Duchess.  The remaining brood frames were checker-boarded some what to move the end frames into the brood nest.  Then I marked queen Myrina with a white marker and let the paint dry for a minute.  After which she was released back onto a brood frame.

The New Queen Myrina
At this point I closed up Myrina and grabbed the nuc to take to its stand.  The Screened Bottom Board & Telescoping Cover were waiting there for the Nuc.  All of it was assembled and there sat Nuc#2.

A Nuc from both Hives
As I closed the cover on the new Nuc I noticed that the bees were Very quiet.  Hopefully by next weekend they will have a handful of Queen cells made.  Also the Slatted Rack was added at the start.  I hope it will allow the bees to keep the bottom of the frames warmer so they have more queen cell candidates.  I should have done that with the first nuc.  Nuc#2 has 4 full frames of bees in it.  Which is what I've been told is a good amount.

The New Queen Myrina.  The last time I saw the blue marked 2010 queen was in October.  Yet all spring there has been plenty of brood.  I feel like she may have been replaced after the boxes were reversed.  I couldnt have been last year since it would have been to late for drones to be around.  There was also no problem with egg laying early this year.  There was a slow down after the reversal.  I assumed it was related to the reversal but it may have been when the supersedure occurred; or she died and was replaced.  I havent seen any queen cells yet this year.  A full inspection is in order now.

The good news is that Myrina is requeened.  I'll not worry as much about her swarming now.  The new queen performance is Fantastic.  The brood frames were filled from edge to edge with brood.  The pattern was completely solid.  Possibly the best looking brood frames I've ever seen.  I hope the queen in Nuc#2 ends up the same.

On a final note the beekeeping neighbor and I both noticed TONS of drone cells in our hives this weekend.  Almost entire frames of them.  All our queens are local to this area.  I hope it is normal for here but I do not recall so many drone cells before.

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5 comments:

immwia said...

Wow, it sounds like you might be on your way to local production. Best wishes as things continue into the spring.

the bees house said...

Great photo of the Queen Bee.
i have put you in Beekeepers blog list on http://thebeeshouse.blogspot.com/

Jared said...

My hives in NC seem to have more drones this year as well. All of the ones that are booming have very large numbers of drones. These queens are laying good patterns and I am not sure why they are laying more drones than usual...

Jones said...

Be careful of swarming. I found that the hives with the most drone cells were going into swarm mode.

How do you mark your queens? Do you catch them with your fingers? I have yet to be able to get that right.

Hemlock said...

immwia,
Thanks, i need it. When these bees can provide solely for themselves we'll be on track. That is we can sell a few nucs, honey, or Queens to pay for the woodenware, sugar, or equipment. The funny thing is the more woodenware i build the fewer hives i want.


Bee House,
Thanks for the listing. I went over there and 'Followed' the site Yesterday. Good site with lots of links. Again thanks.


Jared,
I asked the bee club about higher drone levels. There was concern about a drone laying queen. I assured them the queen was laying plenty of worker brood too.
Culling the drone frame was suggested for Varroa control. That at least will let me cycle out the remaining Plasticel faster. My neighbor also has lots of drone comb.
We'll keep monitoring...


Jones,
Oh i didnt want to hear that! Both colonies have been nuc'ed now. Which means the brood nests have been opened up to some degree. The nuc frames were replaced by foundationless frames or empty drawn frames. Also, each has a foundationless honey supper on it opening then up more. Both their populations are good so now i'll wait and see what happens.
I use a tube & plunger to mark my queens. I'm too afraid of damaging the queens with my big fat fingers. It works VERY well. Here is a link to such a post http://beavercreekbees.blogspot.com/2010/05/marking-mary-hornets.html