Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, Inc.

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Candy's Corner

Hi Everyone!

I’m glad to say that my bees are doing great!

I got my NUC moved back from the Overland NUC Wintering Kit over into a standard hive! I had to do a little "swapping" around to get the hive set back up. The NUC consisted of a deep nuc box and a medium NUC box, originally meant for honey. Of course the queen had moved up into the medium box and all five frames were filled with brood. It was awesome to see what a fabulous job she was doing. I moved the frames out of the medium NUC over into a super and added more epmty frames. I then found the queen and caged her to keep her from moving too far. That super then became the bottom box of the hive.

I placed my queen back into the super and added a full deep hive body on top that included the five frames from the deep NUC box. I want the queen to eventually move up into the deep body. In a few weeks I will add a queen excluder between the medium and deep so that the queen can’t move back down into the medium and once all the brood is hatched, I will remove the medium super and leave the deep body as my bottom brood chamber. I could have put the queen excluder on now but we are supposed to have more cold weather and I want the bees to be able to cluster if needed. I typically do not run hive bodies as my brood box but I had a dear friend from Alabama make me a BEAUTIFUL cedar hive that I just had to use! I also added a honey super for the girls to start working on.

As for the hive that "carried" the nuc through the winter, it was so PACKED with bees I was able to split it! That hive consisted of three medium supers and the queen was laying in all three supers. There were soooo many bees, it was unreal!! I had attempted to do the split a couple of days before and had inspected each frame in all three boxes three times and could NOT find the queen. I gave up that day. I finally found her on the second attempt in the bottom box, on the very last frame I pulled out. She was gorgeous!! I love seeing my queens. I caged the queen and pulled six frames that had the most capped brood on them. I included two more drawn comb frames to the box and added a second box with drawn comb frames and frames of honey. I then released “her majesty” into her new home.

I used what frames of brood, bees, and honey that were left to put the original hive back together, which was now two medium supers. I used a rubber band to attach the caged queen onto the middle frame of the bottom box and closed the hive up. There are so many different ways to do splits. This just happens to be the way I like to do mine. I split hives side by side. The reason that I take the frames with the most capped brood and move them over is because I know that a lot of the bees are going to go back to the original hive. It’s not a problem, because I will have lots of bees hatching soon to “replenish” the hive. Making splits is just like everything else in beekeeping…. Do what works best for you and your bees!!

See you at the Bee Farm!