Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Splits Season - Nuc's Coming Soon

With the flow almost over we have begun splitting up our robust hives into nucs for introduction into new hives.  Generally, we take three frames of brood, a frame of honey, and a frame of foundation and introduce them into five-frame nuc boxes, like the ones in the picture above.  We then introduce a queen from one of our queen purveyors: Russell Apiaries or Long Lane Honeybee Farms.

From Russell, we use the Sunkist variety for queening.  From their site:

They are of Italian origin, and have been selectively bred since 1951 for heavy laying, low swarming, honey production, distance of foraging, mite and disease resistance, gentleness, comb building, and early build up. They were created for his use as cell builders and for package production. They produce a much higher than average number of bees per hive.... with swarm levels around 100-120k. 

Having run several hives with these girls, I can attest to their huge hives and plenty of honey.  They also survived last year's winter in a single 10-frame deep box, so they are hardy, although last winter was not a brutal test.  Given their large numbers, these girls may not be ideal for an urban setting, however.

From Long Lane, we import their Pioneer Queens.  From their site:

We finally decided to name our queens and call them "Pioneer Queens". There are several definitions for pioneer in the dictionary. One says, "Leading the way; trailblazing". We hope to join many others, like us, who feel the importance of seeking greater diversity within the queen genetics, traits and characteristics that show resistance toward pests, diseases and harsh winters. Most of our pioneer queens are dark in color, more along the line of being Carniolan or Russian.  

These queens have done great over the winter and have provided a significant honey crop.  Their Central Illinois background has them hardy and stingy of resources during the winter and they have been raised treatment free.

We should have a few of these nucs available in the coming weeks, they are now "ripening" by which I mean I want the new queen to have a cycle of brood under her belt, and have the hive bursting with bees when we sell.

Please email me at jeff@dchoneybees.com if you would like to reserve one.


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