Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Finally! I have two queen candidates for my nuc.

It has been 11 days since I started the nuc with two frames of brood and eggs.  I am happy to say that the girls are working on acquiring a queen.  Of the three queen cells that I saw in the inspection 4 days ago, two of them now have pupae in them.  The nuc looked pretty good on this inspection.  It doesn't appear that any robbing took place despite the obvious attempts.  I guess the robbing screens really did do the job, even when the nuc was in no position to defend its self.  The next benefit that I am looking for is whether or not the robbing screen helps detour wax moths.  I will have to think of a way to measure this.  I don't have enough bees and equipment to run a comparison of hives with and without robbing screens.

I finally saw the bees bringing in a respectable amount of pollen earlier this afternoon.  Also the comb that was placed from the two different hives don't appear to be too close to each other.  I feel good enough about the nuc to wait two weeks before taking a peek in there again.  Here is a video of the nuc inspection.

I think the next time I start a nuc, I will start with one frame of capped brood with good pollen stores.  Then after 4 days, I'll add another frame with eggs.  I think I'll wait a week and add one frame of eggs if no queen cells are filled, or I'll add a frame of capped larvae if they have a good start on their new queen.  I'll go through this routine until the new queen is laying eggs.  After the nuc has four frames I will have to perform a trade instead of just adding frames.  

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