Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Good, The Bad, The Splits

“A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer.” -    Joseph Addison

I have another cantankerous hive - though stings don't bother me as much as they once did. Just the same, Hive-A has become as vile as Hive-D was a few weeks back but it obviously has a queen as seen by all of the brood I found.

Ironically, earlier this year, I spent an hour in this same hive in nothing more than a T-shirt and Veil. I can only assume that on that day, I either clumsily killed the queen or I simply wore out my welcome for the year and am now marked for death by her highness.

It's hard to say how many stings I took yesterday, though I am guessing about (15) - almost all of which were through my socks. My suit, for the most part, did it's job.  But I'll get back to all that in a minute.

Before I start, Let me explain my updated Hive ID System.
The Updated Hive ID System

Since I started with Hives A, B, C, & D at Dr. D's place, those are my parent hives. When I split a hive, I add a number (i.e. The first split from D became D.1).

Since I bought (3) VSH queens and only one survived, I have named that hive VSH as that queen is now my main egg donor. So now when I requeen a hive I add VSH to the end to signify where the queen came from (i.e. Hive D.3.VSH was originally the 3rd split from D but was requeened with VSH).

Subsequently all Five Frame Nucs will be given the letter V at the start as in Roman Numeral V. As these will become Parent Nucs, I am starting them off with letters rather than numbers (i.e. The first Five Frame Nuc that I made is VA and it has a VSH queen cell so it is VA.VSH)

If you are confused... well... read the damn chart... I'm moving on!


Noah and I accomplished a lot.

We Split Hive-A, requeened Hive-D.3, and filled (2) Five Frame Nucs with bees and frames.

The plan was to take the queen from Hive-D.3 and place it in one of the nucs. However, there was no queen in hive D.3... or eggs... or brood - but there was (2) open Queen Cells with larva and royal jelly.

While this was a mystery yesterday, today (after reviewing my notes) I realize that the hive may have had a new VSH queen in it but that she would have just completed her mating flight. The hive was very calm - so it all makes sense. Nonetheless, we placed a frame of eggs from VSH into D.3.VSH. If they don't need a queen they can just use the brood to build up their numbers.

The (2) queen cells were removed and placed in VA.VSH and taken home. VB is queenless and it too was taken home.

Lastly, we split Hive-A. To do this, we placed all but the bottom box onto a new stand (We checkerboarded one of the box since it was mostly honey bound.). This put (3) boxes on the new location and (1) on the old location. In the bottom chamber of A.1, we placed a frame of eggs from the VSH queen as well as a couple of frames of brood from Hive-A.

The marked VSH Queen
Hive A was left with a lot of bees and the vile queen. On Saturday, I plan to reverse these two hives to let the field bees populate the larger half of the split.

We split Hive-A last. We had intended on splitting B & C as well but after taken such a beating from A, we just checked B & C and called it a day. Being repeatedly stung, whether you are used to it or not, is demoralizing. Noah managed to stay back and unstung... sort of... as we were leaving he was stung twice - I think the bees were just saying goodbye.

Total time spent was about (3) hours at Dr. D's place.

New Hive Count: (9) Hives - (2) Five Frame Nucs - and (1) barely holding on Mini Mating Nuc.

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