Now loaded with bees, the full size hives are storing nectar and pollen. Brood frames have the distinctive crescent-shaped pattern of capped brood, pollen, nectar and larva. Frames of nectar are starting to get caps. Drone brood is normal and to no one’s surprise there are a few queen cells started.
I’m crowding a hive that I hope will produce a super of cut comb. This hive has an excluder on it. I’ve never had good success using queen excluders. They seem to block the bees and the queen. I have always used plastic but wanted to see if a metal one would work better. Thought there might be some difference. So far the difference is a big fat capped queen cell. I moved that frame and a few others into a nuc box. I might get a good queen from the hive even if I don’t get comb honey. Either or both would work.
I used my last banked queen today in a hive that I suspect got the queen moved during the nuc building process. Lots of bees and capped brood but no eggs that I could find although plenty of stores. They are building out comb. I read somewhere that one way to fill honey supers is to split off the queen and the hive will bring in more nectar. The nectar that is in the brood area will get moved up when a queen is added as the hive needs to make room for larva. Interesting notion if true.
All the full size hives have a super with new frames. I’m relentless with rotating out old frames which means new comb must be drawn each year. Busy bees are happy bees and I try to keep their little minds off of swarming.
I think locust trees will bloom soon. Buttercups and dandelions are in their full yellow glory. Lots of other plants will also bloom soon. What a great Spring so far.