Wow - I didn't realize how much I've been neglecting the blog lately. A lot has happened since the last post, so instead of writing long summaries (which I probably can't remember anyway), I'll just post a catch-up blog.
It turns out the fall and winter got ahead of me and I didn't get things done like I'd like.
I had 3 nucs which I was hoping to get ready to over winter. My plan was to stack them on top of full size hives to help them take advantage of the heat (small hives like nucs don't survive on their own for the winter since they can't generate enough heat). I built some special hive pieces to let me stack them. But we had a surprise cold snap in the fall, and those three hives all died early.
Sutton similarly didn't fare well over the winter. Things got away from me there and I never did get the smaller hive moved into two boxes. I went out there and fed them sugar syrup for the winter, but it still wasn't good enough. Both Sutton hives died. There was a ton (maybe not - but it was very heavy!) of honey left in those hives when I inspected them in the late winter. I ended up putting those frames in my extra freezer so the honey didn't spoil.
The two hives in my backyard made it through the winter, miraculously! So they will be ready to go strong in the spring.
That's the catch up - I'll try to do better this year with the blog. I'm starting my 6th year, and the queen marking colors now repeat to the color when I got my first queen - green.