Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mating Nucs for Queens

I attended a Queen Grafting Class. It was a hands-on-workshop with instructor Linda Monahan. And looks like it was a success, I had 4 queen cells that I grafted myself.

My plan is to have few small nuc as a reserve on the side. I gave away one queen to a local beekeeper who needs a queen. Then I had to find enough frames of capped brood with nurse bees to introduce the rest of the queen cells.

Luckily, I managed to find a local beekeeper, Jack Ip, who could provide me those frames. Jack is an experienced beekeeper following natural beekeeping philosophy. His blog is full of information and interesting stories: Los Altos Honey Bees.

I bought 6 frames from Jack, 2 per nuc. Here are my nucs the day before, transferring the queen cells.

On Memorial Day, we introduced the queen cells to their sisters.

At the same time, my host at Palo Alto gave me a lead, her neighbor who is also willing to have some hives in their backyard to support honey bees. What a luck? Now, I have 4 different place to keep my hives. I decided to keep these nucs at this new location. Couple of days later, I moved these nucs to their final home. Check them out:

Please, notice that the entrance of each nuc is facing different direction. So that field bees will know easily where to return, and of course the queens returning from mating flights.

According to the schedule, queens should have emerged today. How exciting it is?

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