Sometimes life gets into the way of beekeeping. I manage to get time to inspect the bees regularly, but sometimes get behind in updating the blog. I did an inspection over a month ago (May 5) but am just now updating things. I am about 6 or 7 blog posts behind. Since I use my blog as a record keeping tool, I should at least document what I've found.
In general, all of the hives are active - the brown one especially. So I wasn't to surprised to see what I saw in the brown hive: swarm cells, and quite a few of them:
This is an indication that the hive is doing well, and wants to reproduce. I also found a frame full of drone brood:
Again, hives make lots of drones when there are plenty of resources. That's a good thing.
There were enough frames with swarm cells that I was able to make a nuc. See later in this post for that.
Next to the Brown Hive, the Green Hive is the most populous. Here's a frame full of brood - what I like to see!
The vertical row of empty cells is where the embedded wires are - the bees can't put brood in there because the wire is in the way.
I also saw this in the lower brood chamber:
What you see here is the lower semi-circle of brood, indicating that the bees are spanning both boxes for brood rearing. Again, a good thing. No signs of swarm cells.
The Pink Hive continues to move along. She is still rocking the original queen which came out of winter (dotted orange in the photo below)
The population continues to increase. Here's a nice frame of brood from the pink hive:
It's interesting to note that the pink hive continues to insist on using the upper entrance (the gap in the inner cover). So I have to keep a shim on top of that so the outer cover doesn't block it. It's not a problem - just interesting. Every once in a while bees go in and out the bottom, but the main entrance is the top one.
As mentioned above, I had some swarm cells in the Brown Hive. I wanted to make up some nucs, especially to try out my mating nuc. Some of the queen cells were on frames where I couldn't safely remove them, so I put them frame and all into a full size nuc:
There was one in the middle of the wax that I was able to cut around, so I removed it and made up a mating nuc. I shook off about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of bees into the mating nuc, put in some sugar syrup for food, and put in the single queen cell. Here's how it looks:
I've never done this before, so we'll see how it turns out.