Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Converted

Original colony on the left, split-off colony on the right
Today I got out of work a little early and it was a nice 80˚F so I thought it would be a good time to get in and set up my new Langstroth hive. First I donned all my gear. Apparently, I can be taught. I went out and set up the base board on a piece of fieldstone and used some wood wedges and other small stones to level it. Then I brought out the rest of the pieces.

What I had found was that the 10 frame deep was a little too long for my top bars so I hammered 3 nails into each end and cut a few spacer bars to fit the shorter dimension, making little ledges on which the top bars could rest. I only did this for the bottom deep box. The upper one has 10 frames with foundation.

I decided to go into the original hive, which may or may not have lost Beeyoncé in my efforts to save the other colony. What I found in there was the most honey I have ever seen my hives produce and evidence they were queenless: some drone brood cells, an emergency queen cell (maybe 2) and a lot of bees who were somewhat annoyed by my mucking about. However, once I broke open a few of the honey cells that were attached to the sides, they got distracted by that and mostly left me alone. I could move 9 top bars into that bottom deep box so I did, making sure I had at least one emergency queen cell. Then I put the queen excluder on top of that and topped it off with the other deep box full of foundation frames.

For the remaining top bars, I consolidated and then closed up the hive. I think the next step here is to get another queen and then figure out when she arrives which colony needs her. I don't really plan on having 3 colonies but we will have to see how they do (this is the slippery slope by which I end up with an entire bee business, which I do not want).

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