I moved the bees/frames from the cardboard NUC back on April 14th. It has been a couple of weeks since then and it is time to do my first hive inspection.
The new hive is the “Bees Rules” boxes. The original five frames were moved to an eight frame deep with 3 frames of foundation. Another 8 frame deep was sat on top with 5 frames of built out comb and three frames of foundation. Feeding with a 1 quart entrance feeder with 1:1 syrup and honey-b-healthy additive. Boxes insulated with 1” Styrofoam insulation.
lots of bees in the center frames of both boxes. Bees are not doing a lot of wax building. They do have a lot of built out comb, so there isn’t much reason for them to make wax.
Some of the new foundation frames have the ‘front’ 20% of the foundation removed. The thought process is that the bees seem to want to produce 20% drones and 80% workers in the spring. This will allow them to build drone comb without having to mess up the worker comb to make room for drones. The thought is that the bees will use this drone comb area for honey storage over the winter.
Split Foundation Frame
Well, the spring weather here in Maryland was a lot colder and wetter than usual. My bee supplier (prudently) pushed back the delivery date on my NUC from April 1st to April 14th. The 14th turned out to be a nice day for transferring the NUC to my hive box. Kevin had taken the precaution of capturing the queen and placing her in a plastic queen cage rubber banded to one of the frames. This minimized the chances of damaging her while transporting the bees and getting them into the hive. THis was a real nice touch.
All of the frames in the NUC were fairly well covered by bees. Mostly, these looked to be younger nurse bees. I set the entrance to a small two bee wide opening and started moving my minions to their new home. The foragers were ready to start to work immediately and the front of the hive was busy with orientation flights.
I was able to get a few extra frames of built out comb from my supplier at a very reasonable price. This made it possible to start with two deep hive bodies, the lower all in built out comb and the upper with half of the frames in comb and the other half with bare foundation.
In the rush to get the NUC moved over, I didn’t do a real close inspection of each of the frames. I wish I had, because the weather hasn’t been too conducive to getting back in for another look.
The plan for next weekend is to closely inspect the hive and if things look good to add honey supers. The extra built out comb frames could make this work out for me.