Friday, April 30, 2010

Step Five: Setting Up Mating Nucs

On Wednesday, ten days after grafting queen cells, I created 7 mating nucs: five in cardboard 'nuc' boxes, and 2 in a "queen castle". Following the instructions found in Lawrence Connor's book, Increase Essentials, I placed one frame of capped brood (with adhering bees), one frame of honey/pollen, and two empty drawn frames in each 'nuc'. I carefully  pressed one ripe queen cell into each frame of capped brood and shook in some "extra bees" as well. I closed up each hive and will check them again in two weeks. Hopefully, each nucleus hive will have a mated queen  by then.

Of course, this process was not without disaster. In the middle of making up one nuc hive, I tipped over the box and stirred up alot of trouble. I don't dress in a full bee suit and paid the price of that decision with 15 stings, mostly to my stomach and wrists. Yes, it hurt for a bit, but I really had no swelling, or any other ill effects from the experience.

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