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Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Nuc Check-up

First, befor I tell you about the whole inspection of the nuc I have some information which you will find to your liking, I HAVE PHOTOS! So, I got to the nuc, lit the smoker as usuall and began the inspection on Saturday. Unfortunetly, some of the frames slid a bit while it was in transit so there was a lot of comb that I needed to cut. The queen cage had also fallen to the bottom of the hive. After moving a few frames, cutting some burr comb and picking up the cage I began to do my search for eggs. The colony was a lot bigger than I remembered. The frames were covered in bees so I think the some 6,000 bees I brought over capped have emerged. In the empty frames, after looking carefully, they were FULL of eggs. This queen had been busy. When I installed the package it took the queen two weeks to begin laying and here, in just seven days this queen had pumped out thousands of eggs! I saw here rush along the bottom and as I brought the cammera closer to take a picture, she darted under a pile of bees and I couldn't finder her. And so after being proud of the first three frames I removed the last one, or attempted to. It was stuck to the bottom and I had to pull as hard as I could to break it loose. I soon found the culprip, a peice of untrimmed burr comb which I neglected to chop off when I did the split. I cut it off, stacked it with the other burr comb and closed up the hive. As I walked away I brushed the bees off and took off my veil for the ten minute drive home. Here are the two most impressive specimens.


As I studied these I saw a peice with two peanut-shaped hanging cells. Immidiately I knew they were queen cells. Her highness was inside but, now killed by my handling of the comb. Given their placement, they were swarm cells from the colony I have here, at my house. So, now I knew that my colony here has gotten to such a high population that they want to swarm, so, tomarow, I have to super them with a super I was saving for the other colony. If you look carefully, there are also alot of capped drone cells in the comb of which I did my drone cut inspection for varroa mites. I didn't find a single one with any disease once so ever. Just so you know, I did disect the queen cells since they were already dead and the queens were perfectly healthy untill then. I tried to take a picture of them but, the cammera couldn't focus on such a bright white object so, the pupa just looked like an asprin. I didn't see a need to post a picture of it.


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