Moving a Nuc into a Deep

On July 4th, we checked Maylyn, Green Gables (Abigail’s hive), and Lakti (Bethany’s hive). We also moved Olivia’s nuc into a deep box.

 

 

Here I am filling up our spray bottle with one to one sugar syrup. We will spray the sugar syrup on the new frames we are putting in the hive.

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Mom and I smoked all of the hives.

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At the beginning of every hive check, we open up all the hives we are going to check. This makes the bees defend their hive instead of trying to rob their neighbors hive.

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Abigail takes the top super off of Bethany’s hive so that she can inspect the top deep box.

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To move a nuc into a deep, we needed a bottom board, a deep box with four frames and a feeder, a inner cover, and a outer cover. A leveler is used to make sure that the bottom board is level.

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Mom and Abigail straighten out the boxes on Bethany’s hive. We did this so that there are as few cracks as possible between the boxes. This helps the bees regulate the temperature of the hive.

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We discussed how exactly we were going to move Olivia’s bees into a deep.

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Mom is leveling the bottom board from back to front. A level bottom board is important because if the bottom of the hive is not level it could tip over easily. We tip the hives just the slightest bit forward so that any water can run out of the hive.

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Mom then leveled the bottom board from side to side. There are two nucs in the background of this picture. Both of these nucs came from Maylyn. One of the nucs is Olivia’s hive, Primlox. The other nuc we gave to a beekeeper who lost some hives when parts of town flooded in July.
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Here is Abigail inspecting Maylyn. She looked for the queen, eggs, and made sure they did not need more space. Because we split them twice the queen was relatively young. Abigail found eggs and the bees still had plenty of space.

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Here is Olivia’s nuc next to the deep we moved them into.

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Here is Olivia beginning to move the frames into the deep.

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We put the brood frames in the middle of the deep and the resource frames went right next to the brood frames. We did this so that the bees would not overdraw the resource frames.

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Olivia carefully put the frame with the queen in the middle. Olivia made sure she knew which frame the queen was on so she could be extra careful with her.

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Here Olivia is putting a third frame in the deep.

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Olivia inspected this brood frame to see if the queen was on it.

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Olivia pushed the frames together to make sure that she could fit all the frames in the deep. Nine frames and a feeder is tight in a ten frame deep.

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Here is Olivia putting in the last resource frame.

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Abigail finished up inspecting Maylyn while Olivia grabbed the sugar syrup.

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Olivia fed her hive because it was a small hive and they needed to build out frames and fill them with honey for winter in around four months.

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We also split Bethany’s hive. We think her hive was honey bound. They were preparing to swarm when we took the queen and three brood frames and two resource frames and made a nuc. This gave the established hive new frames to draw out and put brood in. We put it on a bench in front of the rest of the hives so that the bees would re-orientate to their new hive.

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We left some comb with honey in it outside on a bench. The bees quickly found it and had it dry in one day.

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After a couple weeks we moved Bethany’s nuc back next to Maylyn. We now had six hives. (Five after we gave away the third nuc.)

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Abigail

 

Splitting Maylyn

When we checked Maylyn on June 19th, we discovered that they had supersedure and swarm cells. This was concerning because either the queen died or they were planning on swarming.

 

 

Here I am opening up my hive.

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This super frame was in Maylyn. The long peanut shaped cells on this frame are supersedure cells. These cells were built on one of the super frames.

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There were ten supersedure and swarm cells on the super frame. The swarm cells are on the bottom of the frame and the supersedure cells are on the side of the frame.

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This frame has a lot of honey stored in it with brood to the side.

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Here Bethany is looking at one of the frames. In order to determine whether or not the bees were planning on swarming we had to find the queen.

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This frame is and excellent example of a good brood. pattern. This queen was a very productive queen. If we found her we would definitely try to save her.

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This frame had eggs and young larvae in the middle of the frame. This means that the queen was most likely still in the hive.

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There are at least thirteen supersedure cells on this side of the deep frame.

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As we continued to search for the queen, we found many excellent brood frames. If we were to split the hive, we would need plenty of brood frames for both Maylyn and the new split.

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There were just a couple swarm cells on this frame. All of the capped swarm cells are at least nine days old possibly older.

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We did find the queen which means that the bees were planning on swarming. We decided to split the hive.

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We split the hive by taking the frame the queen was on and putting it into a nuc. A nuc is a five frame deep box. We made nuc boxes a couple months back. Along with the queen and the frame she is on, two resource (honey or nectar) frames and two brood frames should be put in the nuc. This is a total of three brood frames and two resource frames.

 

Here is what the box full of bees looked like.

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Here is an excellent resource frame. This frame is full of nectar. We put this frame in the nuc.

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Mom is evaluating this frame to see if it is a good brood frame or resource frame.

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This is a good brood frame.

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Here I am taking one of the last frames out of Maylyn to make sure that we were not missing anything in our hive check of Maylyn.

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Here I am taking a brood frame over to the nuc.

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This is a good resource frame because it has lots of nectar and empty spaces for the bees to build out.

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The bees in Maylyn had some capped honey in the deeps. This is good because we know they will have plenty of honey come winter.

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This is a nectar frame we placed in the nuc.

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This is an excellent brood frame and would be perfect to put in the nuc.

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Her is the nuc with only three frames in it. The middle frame is a brood frame and the outside frames are resource frames.

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Here is a closer up picture of the frames.

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Here are some bees on the inside of one of the Maylyn boxes.

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Here I am shaking some nurse bees into the nuc. The bees on the frames only are not enough to take care of all of the brood in the nuc.

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Here are the bees quickly getting used to their new, smaller home.

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It is easy to see the bee’s hair in this picture. The older the bee is the less hair it has.

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A few of the bees ended up on the outside of the nuc.

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Because we shake the bees into the nuc, a lot of them flew back to Maylyn.

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We used a weed to make the bees realize that they were in a new home. The bees will realize they are in a new location and they will re-orientate to the nuc.

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After this split we went from three to four hives.

 

Abigail

 

Can You Find the Queen?

In June, we decided to mark the queen in Maylyn Sorority. The first step to marking the queen is to find the queen. We carefully went frame by frame through the hive searching for her.

 

Here she is. She is the bee with the really long abdomen.

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Can you spot her on this frame?
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The queen is fed and groomed by worker bees. These worker bees are called attendant bees.

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This frame shows worker bees busily filling cells with pollen and nectar.

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Here the queen is crawling to the other side of the frame to get away from what could harm her.

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Honey bees will get out of the way of a mature queen. The bees, however, will not get out of the way of a virgin queen. A virgin queen is a queen that is not mated. She runs over the other bees because she does not lay eggs yet. Maylyn’s queen is a mature queen.

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The bees balled up at the bottom end of this frame. When they do this a beekeeper must be careful not to crush the bees.

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Can you spot the queen on this frame?

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The queen is climbing to the other side of the frame in this picture.

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As the queen goes over the frames, she inspects the cells. If the cell is clean enough, she lays an egg in it.

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A worker bee is feeding the queen is this picture.

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Olivia held the frame with the queen on it while Mr. Mike caught the queen.

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Mr. Mike put the queen into a queen marking tube. The tube has wire on the end and and soft plunger to push the queen to the wire mesh.

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Mr. Mike used a yellow pen to mark the queen. She is marked yellow because she was born in the year 2017. Every year has a certain color for marking the queen. Marking a queen does three things. 1) It tells the beekeeper the age of the queen, 2) it makes the queen easier to spot, and 3) it tells the beekeeper if the queen was superseded.

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Here is Mr. Mike marking the queen.
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Mrs. Julie put the frame carefully back in the hive.

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Here we are (left to right Mr. Mike, Mrs. Julie, Bethany, Abigail, and Olivia) after our first queen marking.
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It was really exciting to mark a queen. Now whenever we inspect Maylyn we can easily spot the queen.

 

 

Abigail

 

 

June 9th Hive Check

On June 9th, we checked all the hives.

 

 

We opened our hives and smoked the bees to calm them down.

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Here Abigail is pulling the inner cover off her hive and Bethany is smoking her hive.

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This is what Abigail’s hive looked like when she opened it up.

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Here is what Bethany’s hive looked like when she opened it up.

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This is a frame from Bethany’s hive. The bees from the middle of the frame had emerged and the the queen laid more eggs in the cells.

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Olivia is looking at a super frame to see how much honey the bees put on it.

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There were so many bees in Maylyn that the bees literally overflowed the boxes.

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Lots of bees means the hive is thriving which made us very happy.

 

Abigail

 

 

May 31st Hive Check

On May 31st we checked our hives again. Bethany and Abigail were the only two to check the hives, while Mom took pictures.

 

 

Here we are beginning the hive inspection.

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Here is Abigail showing Bethany one of the frames from Bethany’s hive. We often check two people to one hive. This makes it a possible for two frames to be looked over at once.

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The bees had just begun to build out this frame in their second deep.

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Here we are inspecting two frames at once. I am holding the frame that was in the hive just before the frame Bethany is pulling out.

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Here is Bethany looking at a frame. If you look at the side of the frame toward the ground, you can see dark spots that are brood.

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We sprayed the frames in the upper deep if they were not filled out. This encourages the bees to build comb on them.

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At the bottom of this frame were queen cells.

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The queen cells were empty. This means either the queen had not laid an egg in them or they were for practice. These frames were in Abigail’s hive. All of the queen cells were empty. If the queen cells had had eggs in them we would have split the hive.

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The bees were building into the second box really well during this hive check.

 

Abigail

Building New Frames

Abigail got a nail gun for her birthday! Of course you build frames with nail guns so naturally that’s what we did.

 

 

Here is Bethany gluing the frames because the glue is the thing that really holds it together.
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Abigail is using the nail gun because it is her birthday gift after all.
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Mom is taking out any nails that came out of the frame with pliers.
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Abigail is getting quite good at nailing now.
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Some of the frames we finished we still had more to do.
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We all had a blast with the nail gun.

 

Bethany