Yesterday was a beautiful April day. Bright sun, no wind, bees flying, time available – off to the hives with a load of empty comb filled supers. It had been almost two weeks since I had opened a few of the hives and was very pleased (more accurately surprised) at how most hives were packed with bees. Brood looked good, some mite infestation in a few hives so I treated them with Formic acid gel strips and added a super of empty drawn comb to each hive. One hive had a couple of queen cells so now I have to start working on swarm control. On a whim, I setup a bait hive just to see if something magic would happen. I have never had any luck with bait hives but having available empty equipment in the bee yard should be a good thing.
I have had many conversations on the plus and minus of nucs made from swarm cells. I have found that swarm cells work most of the time if there are bountiful drones available. As the old queen usually leaves with the swarm, a new queen must mate before the hive can continue. If a queen cell works in a nuc that I made plus the new queen in the original hive I’m ahead of the game. If the swarm cell nuc does not work, I just recombine with a weak but queen right hive.
Always new things to try and issues work out.