Queens and swarms

The swarms where I manage to capture most of the bees have become queen right. I tried to provide a frame of comb so she could get to work quickly but the bees have been rapidly drawing out comb on the foundation giving her extra space. Generally, both the swarms and swarm cell nucs have done well for me. By now almost every box has brood at some level and only one appears to have a drone laying issue. It was a swarm that was hard to coax into a hive.

One especially large swarm was a box full!
Lots of bees
Will they fit?

Due to the global pandemic issues my spring plans had to be readjusted. Adding to this was that my go-to queen supplier could not ship when I would have liked to split the hives. I normally try to get one or two nucs from each hive and back fill with foundation – the suggested frame rotation procedure. Luckily, I got spring bee fever in January and February which I suppressed by building frames. I decided that empty supers are of no use and fill every one of them with new frames. Turns out that saved me because swarming used most of the frames and extra equipment.  The pandemic shut down seems to have impacted equipment manufacturing as several items are still back ordered.

Today I inspected hives that were brood-less two weeks ago and found that the queen cells had produced queens and that conditions for mating have been favorable. Next up is mite testing and combining the few hives that did not requeen. I am curious and hopeful that the long brood break will lower the mite counts and that the next month or two will yield good nectar flow and a bit of surplus honey.