Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Today (3 weeks after we hived his 2 lb packages) we checked on the progress of these colonies. Note we put these in six-frame nucs that left room for a one gallon frame feeder. In a portion of our nucs we added a pollen patty to determine whether it improved colony development (it did). In a few of our nucs we ran out of feeders to let them fend for sugar on their own thanks to a healthy flow.
These hives left without feeding were still surprisingly well developed, enforcing the notion that the flow was strong and the foragers were plentiful enough to return resources to the colony.
We did have a couple of cases of weak hives (due to drifting I believe) and couple of hives that had lost queens. Note that in two of the cases when we did the install and the queen was dead in her cage, we were correct in expecting that a queen had been shaken into the package as these two hive had brood. For the hives with lost queens we added a frame of open brood from a healthy hive to each and hope they will create their own queen.
Note too that we used Mann Lake PF-100 plastic frames that are 4.9mm cell size. These small cell frames are consistent with the foundation the bees were raised on in Don's bee yard.
Here is a video of where we stand now....many of these nucs are ready for sale in a week:
Posted by DCHoneybees at 9:50 PM