Friday, November 20, 2015

Fall Bees

It was a busy fall around the bee yard the past couple of months.   Two of the hives decided to requeen in late August - one of the Russians and one of the nucs.   

The Russian hive produced 27 queen cells, which we tried to make nucs with and failed, but the cell we left in the hive produced a fabulous queen and that hive is doing very nicely now.   We're overwintering it in two boxes.  

The other Russian hive is doing fine and will winter in a single box.  

The nuc with the new queen never got very big and so I decided to combine it with what had been a much stronger hive.  Unfortunately, the combine was slow because you have to find one of the queens to take her out.   I had decided to keep the new queen and it took for freaking ever to find the other.   By the time I finished the combine, there was wholesale robbing.   By the time I got the robbing under control, there were not enough stores to warrant two boxes over the winter, so I reduced them down to a single box.   Which started more robbing, which I'll talk about in the next post. 

At any rate, I'm going into winter with 3 hives this year.   I am hopeful that the two Russian hives will do OK.   The other hive is very different in demeanor and I'd be thrilled if they made it through at all, but I confess I won't be surprised if they don't. 

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Rumor has it that this will be a more mild winter. I sure hope so. It'd be nice to start early and actually get some honey next year.

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  2. "wholesale robbing" - I like that phrase! I can visualize it quite easily, since I've invoked a robbing frenzy myself at least once before. :)

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    Replies
    1. I know, right?! Always an adventure. I did a lot of the combine and winterizing alone this fall. It's slow that way and the slower I am, the more robbing there is. The only good thing about robbing bees is that they aren't interested in the beekeeper.

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  3. Best of luck to you all, including the bees!

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  4. Best of luck to you all, including the bees!

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