Friday, November 20, 2015
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.