Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Still No Swarm


This is the last time, hopefully, that I'll have to go into the main hive for a while. I wanted to make sure I'd closed up any gaps and take an opportunity to "checkerboard" the bars. This is putting blank bars between brood comb bars to give the bees more space to build brood and not push back into the honey areas. I left them with the orientation: HSEBBBEBBBSHSHSESSF (H=honey, S=spacer, B=brood, E=empty, F=false back). When I get the nuc box I can take some of the empty bars and put them back into the hive and move the false back to the back of the hive. I did not take out any more honey because the combs I found were all honey and brood and I didn't want to jeopardize the worker brood by taking out too many cells.

Still didn't see the queen, but I think if she is still there she is in the three front brood combs that I can't examine. If I try to take them out the entire 3 comb structure will likely collapse as they are all attached to each other. I can, however, slide them en masse back and forth, which is how I was able to insert an empty comb in front of them. In an effort to encourage forager bees to move to the nuc box I made the entrance to the main hive smaller.

Also, as I'm waiting for the new wooden box and it has rained a little and may rain some more, I propped the nuc box up on some scrap wood to keep it off the roof of the main hive. I also put some plastic over the sides and back and then replaced the ventilation roof. That should keep the box dry enough in the interim. My box should be here in a few days.

1 comment:

  1. The box arrived the other day and I was able to move the combs into it. I saw an empty queen cell in the nuc and a solid one, so I'm not sure if the queen hatched or not. I still couldn't find a queen even with looking all over. Regardless, I was able to get the right number of bars in both hives and now I can leave them alone for as long as possible while they sort themselves out.


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