|6 new queens from Gardner Apiaries|
I made the high speed pilgrimage from work to Buddy's bee yard, making it there just in time to begin. We were going to split one colony comprised of two deep hive bodies into four 5-frame nucs. The hive in question was a poor performer with minimal honey production, so the plan was to pinch the old queen and put new queens in the 4 nucs. I'd always looked at splitting hives as a way to manage strong hives in order to increase the number of colonies I had, but I never really gave it much thought as a way to "reset" a poorly performing hive. However, this makes a lot of sense and I look forward to implementing this strategy in the near future.
|Donor hive. Notice the two (empty) nucs on each side.|
|Puff, puff, puff|
|Honey super on top of donor hive|
|Brood frame from donor hive|
After the frames were distributed among the nucs, a pollen patty was added to each nuc as well as a hive top feeder with a couple of quarts of 1:1 sugar syrup to reduce stress on the new colonies. Buddy decided to leave the nucs queenless for a day before adding the new queens. Further, since the queen from the donor hive, which was to be killed, was not located during the split, Buddy planned on going back through each nuc the next day to locate the queen. For requeening, Buddy uses a device called a queen ring, which fits between the nuc body and inner cover, allowing for enough space to insert the queen cage on top of the frames for the new queen's release. I've always introduced queens by suspending the cage on an empty frame, so I'd never seen a queen ring used, but I think this is a great idea.
|Shaking the sugar, and the mites, out.|
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