It is official, we lost our first hive. I had hopes that maybe we could do something to revive them, but no. Our friends at Trevena Fee Farm were able to provide us with a nuc of russian honeybees. The original idea was to combine the new nuc with the old hive by separating them with newspaper. They would chew through the newspaper slowly and eventually the new queen would be bonded onto the old bees. I went in to inspect before opening the new nuc. There were no old bees… well that makes the combining easy!
I was getting slimed however. When there is nobody home to watch the house lots of nasty critters descend. Specifically small hive beetles (SHB) had started to setup residence. About half the frames in the deep had small but noticeable levels of SHB larva. I think the new hive could take care of them, but decided to pull those frames. I will reintroduce them after a day or two in the freezer. No beetle larva problems then!
The great news is that the new nuc was absolutely packed with bees.
We gave him our #4 box with 5 of our drawn, but empty frames. He have us back a box that must have been completely packed with bees. If you think that is a lot, there were tons more inside. I am floored. We might have been having problems for a long time, I don’t remember the last time I saw that many bees. At any rate we are very happy to be solidly back in the beekeeping business and can’t wait for them to settle in. Ester 2, long may you reign.