Manresa Apiary Adventure, written by Terry Rich (OMB Apprentice) with mentor Naomi Price
July 12,2016 9:00am pst
Today's bee itinerary included combining the queen less Evergreen hive with the strong swarm from Hill street. In addition I planned on inspecting Yellow Hive for emerging queens with assistance from Naomi and Larry.
The swarm and those in the Evergreen hive combined successfully without problems. Bees are still cohabitating beautifully.
Soon after opening the hive for inspection we heard the queen piping. We proceeded to check the frames for queen cells. We remved one frame that contained two queen cells to create a new nuc. To to nuc box we added two frames of honey and pollen from Evergreen along with one from Hillside hive that had brood and larvae to complete the new nuc, plus two empty frames for the bees to expand.
The three of us sat in observation of the yellow hive. Watching the flying patterns, hive entrance and listening to the queen piping. The bees of the yellow hive swarmed to the nearby apple tree just feet away. We decided to open the hive and continue to inspect the frames and found 10-15 more queen cells in various stages of development on the remaining frames. On the first frame I removed 3 queen cells and gave them to Naomi. One emerged in Naomi's hands. This queen was placed in a queen catcher. The second emerged in Naomi's hand and place in a jar! We decided to mark it and return the queen to the hive. We removed 5 more queen cells and placed them in a jar. The next frame had three more queen cells placed them in a box for another potential nuc. A queen emerged in the jar and was placed back into the hive because we were concerned that the previously returned queen was damaged when marked. One more queen emerged that was in the jar. What to do with all these queen's?
Then we captured the swarm in the apple tree and returned it to the yellow hive.
The queen in the queen catcher was placed in the jar with the one that just emerged along with other queen cells for them to feed on. A queen battle to the death ensued. "Killer" queen won. During the fight Naomi, Larry and I discussed who may need a queen, there were so many cells and a queen and little time for decisions.
As Naomi made calls, Larry and observed the Yellow hive bees and discussed options. I decided that I did not have enough surplus bees, brood or food stores to make another nuc so I removed the queen cells and returned the frame to the hive. Meanwhile Naomi made contact with Ron a fellow OSU apprentice, he was gifted "Killer" queen.
The nuc was given a temporary home on a nearby property.
2:12pm Wow! what a day....Thank you Naomi and Larry Price for you help, knowledge and love of bee's.