Back on July 14 I performed a walk-away split on the hive at Sutton. I wanted to make a 2nd hive to have two there. A week later, there were some good queen cells starting. Today I decided to check to see if the nuc has a queen - according to bee math, she should be there and laying.
When I got over to the Sutton hives, I could tell summer was being good to the vegetation - there were vines and weeds threatening to overrun the hives!
Here's a back view of the new nuc:
And the front view:
Even the main hive had some weeds growing in front of the hive:
I pulled back a lot of the climbing vine away from the hives as much as I could. My wife said it was a trumpet vine, based on the flowers I described. But whatever it was, it was everywhere!
Sutton Hive #2
(really just a nuc now)
I popped open the nuc, and saw some good activity (the bees were doing well coming and going as well):
The first frame I pulled out had some good evidence of a queen - lots and lots of young larvae! If you click on the picture you can see the white worm-like things in some of the cells.
So now the quest - find the queen! I looked at all of the frames, and didn't see here. But one of the benefits of a 5-frame nuc is that she can't go far to hide. A second pass showed here. She is on this frame - see if you can spot the queen:
If you can't find her, click here for a version of the picture where I circled the queen.
I nabbed her, put her in my queen marking tube, and now she has a very fashionable red dot (red is this year's color).
I put her back in the hive, and I'll check in a week or so to see if it's time to move that nuc into a full-size hive.
Sutton Hive #1
Back to the main hive, popping the cover showed a good number of bees under the inner cover (there were also a bunch on top of the inner cover):
You'll notice the outer frames are black - those are the frames of honey I put in the hive last time, which came from the Sutton hive that died out over the winter.
This queen is doing what the queen needs to do - makin' lots of babies! She has a nice laying pattern:
There were a lot of frames with a good brood pattern - it was good to see!
Looking into the lower box, I found a lot of burr comb on top of the frames. You can see the comb zig-zagging along the top of the 4th and 5th frames.
That burr comb had drones in it, and that comb was destroyed when I separated the hive bodies. So I just scraped it out.
The lower box also had some brood - the queen was using both top and bottom for the brood nest. Again, that's good.
I looked for the queen, but didn't see here. But that's not a problem - I know she's there.
There was still plenty of space for her to lay, so I didn't make any changes to the hive. There was also plenty of honey in the hive. I'll check in a couple of weeks.