Cows, cold and comb

Last weekend I moved two hives to a new bee yard located on the edge of an alfalfa field. These two hives are from overwintered nucs. The new location has a fenced off stream, lots of uncultivated areas for flowering plants, good sun, easy access, a level Southeast facing spot – just perfect except it also has cows that don’t respect fences. I should add that these cows don’t respect beehives either.  I was lucky that only one was knocked over, but it was my only Russian queen. This queen survived from last year as an overwintered nuc and the queen was a gift from a beekeeping friend.Hopefully she is a tough queen, I’ll soon find out.

Many club members purchased packages to get started as a new beekeeper or to replace losses. The big debate was how to install the package. One method was to empty the package over the queen cage while the other method was to shake some amount from the package over the queen cage and leave the package in the hive for a day or two. Unfortunately it turned cold the night after most people had hived their package.Several people that left the package in the hive reported that the queen cage had no attending bee cover several days latter. The bees had returned to the package.

I’m helping out several new beekeepers again this year and gave them a frame of empty comb for each new hive. This something new to me but is sounds like a good idea. Kind of between a package on foundation and a three frame nuc.

One of the joys of beekeeping is never being sure what is the right thing then finding out the bees are good at what they do even when beekeepers don’t make the best decisions.