Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ladue Bees.

Yesterday I nervously set out to inspect the hives in Ladue! Nervous, why? Because last time I went to look at them they were very aggressive and unpleasant!

I have 3 hives in Ladue now, two nucs and this nasty existing hive. My plan was to go through the nucs first to see how they are performing and then to take the supers from the nasty hive and "store" them over the nucs prior to the harvest in a couple of weeks.  I thought that by working in this way it would make harvesting any honey from the nasty hive a bit easier.

The nucs look great! Both have good Queens laying in them. But I will need some additional deeps quite soon. However I now have to confess I am wondering if they should remain strong in single deeps for the winter, or maybe I should combine them with the nasty hive to create two strong hives going into the winter!!!  I might call Eugene for advice.

Anyway instead of closing up the nucs as I found them, I put on a queen excluder and added a new super of undrawn foundation. I then went to relocate the supers from the other hive...

I should say that before I worked the nucs (and also during) I smoked the nasty hive to try to calm them and keep them calm. I think this (and the fact it was a much nicer day than the last time I did an inspection) must have worked because they were really OK this time. A couple of bees did follow me back to my car but I wasn't stung like I have been.  

I smoked supers quite heavily before pulling them off and relocating them and I didn't have any major issues! Rather than just leave the deeps I added an empty super of drawn comb to the hive just to encourage the bees to keep on keeping on!

So this means that each of my nucs are now in single deeps with full(ish) supers of honey and an undrawn super over them and the nasty hive is down to two deeps and an empty super of drawn comb.

Next time out I will harvest the supers (or at least decide how many I will take) and then think about finding the queen in the nasty hive and executing her!

Next inspection June 30.

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