I was at Boy Scout summer camp all last week, so I had to leave my babies to their own devices. Would they survive without me being there?
Kidding aside, the day before I left (last Sunday) the bees in the gray nuc hadn't released the queen yet. I didn't necessarily want to go and manually release her last Sunday, since it was only a couple of days since I introduced the queen. So I hoped that the bees would release her on their own time. The person who sold me the queen used actually marshmallow for the candy, and he had never done that before. I wasn't too comfortable with being the guinea pig test for marshmallow!
The weather during the last week was pretty warm, but it rained a little on Wednesday. It was quite warm today, so I decided to wait until around 5:30PM when it would be cooler, right? Well, even though the thermometer said it was only 69 degrees, dressed in a beekeeping suit made it very hot! I was a ball of sweat when I got through! Anyway, here's what I found:
It's do or die for this nuc. It has been plenty of time to see if they made a queen. I checked the nuc - no queen, few bees. There were also no bees coming and going in the nuc. So I decided to combine this with the White Nuc (see below).
This hive had some good traffic in and out during the week, and I felt it was time to transfer this into a full-size hive. I check the hive, saw they had some good stores, and saw the queen. So I brought out the pieces to the Green Hive and set it up on the hive stand (which had only 2 hives up to now). I also added in the frames from the Blue Nuc since it was failing. Now I have 10 frames in the Green Hive. Welcome to the world!
That hive was light on stores, so I decided to feed it some sugar syrup. I also added a pollen patty, which should encourage the queen to lay more. This hive needs to build up well to be strong enough to make it through the winter.
Here's a picture of my (now complete) hive stand:
The top level of the green hive is just an empty super covering up the feeding jar.
Remember that this was the nuc which experienced some robbing a week or so ago. I checked the nuc, and didn't find any eggs or larvae. The queen cage was empty (the bees had eaten through the candy - yay!) but I didn't see the queen. I also didn't see any honey in the frame at all - nada, and saw lots of pieces of wax in the bottom of the nuc - definitely a sign of robbing. Sigh - another failure. I was going to combine this nuc with another hive, and decided to check one more time for the queen. Upon rechecking, I did spot her! I think the hive didn't have enough resources for the queen to start laying.
So I decided to give them a boost - I added a frame of brood and bees from the White Nuc, added a pollen patty, and decided to feed some sugar syrup. Hopefully this will let the queen start laying eggs. Here's what things look like for this nuc:
I used the body of the blue nuc to cover the feeding jar. I also taped up the inner cover hole to keep other bees from coming in and robbing.
I didn't have time to check the Pink Hive or the Brown Hive - I'll do that later.