Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Queen Cells Are Capped And Ready to Go

Capped Queen Cells
The queen cells are progressing nicely and got capped on Friday 5/27. Today, they are getting moved to the mating nucs. I made up the nucs yesterday, so they can be queenless for 24 hours and have better cell acceptance.

In couple of weeks, I should be able to see the laying pattern of the new queens. Fingers crossed :D
The Queen Cells Are Getting Drawn Out

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What Is Going On In Maria's Apiary: Starting Queen Cells With the Cut Cell Method

Putting together the cell starter
Queen cells candidates
Cell bar ready to go
The hives are building up nicely despite the chilly nights and constant rain. Most of the hives are filling out their first super. No signs of swarming so far except for one hive (there is always that one hive).

We're about 3 weeks from the flow here. I like to do a cut-down split right before the flow. That way, I can increase my hive count without sacrificing production. I like to do raise my own queens for going into winter, so now is a good time to start my queen cells.

Since I only need a small batch, I am using the cut cell method with a small variation - while doing my inspections, I noticed a freshly laid comb from the queen I want to propagate from. So, I just needed to set up the cell bar and the cell starter.

I was lucky and spotted the queen on the first frame I shook into the cell starter. With the queen located, setting up the cell finisher is going to be a breeze. And so it begins :D