Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Bee Nuc

I lost one of my hives over the winter, not sure what happened, but the hive was never as strong as the other all last season.  I ordered a nucleus, rather than a package, because a 'nuc' is already a miniature hive. The queen has already started laying eggs and the bees have already started filling the wax with honey. 
 Not one bee escaped the whole ride home!  Phew!!

 Bees are ready to fly!

The first time I got bees, I started with packages.  The queen is completely new to the hive and she lives in a little cage stopped up with a marshmallow.  The workers eat through the marshmallow releasing the queen and in turn getting used to her as their queen.  The nuc frames are weeks ahead of the packages, great for us in our high desert climate, which usually has a very late spring.  I ordered the very last pickup date so I could ensure that I could install the bees as soon as I got them home.  This spring, however, has been extremely warm and dry.  I had to pick them up 2 hours away by 9am and run the AC all the way home and get them in their new hive as soon as I pulled up the driveway. 

Front of the nuc, this screen is taken off while the bees fill the frames.  The screen is put back on the evening before the nuc is moved to the store where I picked them up.

The nuc with 4 frames and a feeder.
 Added the 4 frames to my existing super, with a pollen patty on top.

I left the nuc next to the hive, so any bees that didn't go in on the frames will find their way in.