Bees Again!

After two futile attempts at
beekeeping we are trying again.  The
first two times we bought our bees in a 3 lb. package from an apiary in Georgia through
our local bee club.  I’m not saying that
there was anything wrong with the bees; it was more likely my inexperience that
caused our problems. This time we bought a nuc of bees from a local apiarist,
Aaron Burns ( 

This should give us 2 advantages:
1.) The bees are local and adapted to our area.
2.) A nuc is a box that contains 5 frames with the queen and
other bees already established. It’s basically a mini hive, which is a head
start compared to a 3 lb. package.

Today I checked in on them for the first time since I put
them in the hive.  When I opened the
hive, I discovered some things I expected and some that I didn’t.

What I expected was lots of bees, brood (bee larvae), honey
and pollen – which were all there.

What I didn’t expect was that the bees had drawn comb at the
bottom of the frames that came with the nuc. 
The frames in the nuc were shorter than our hive body, so they did not
reach the whole way to the bottom. 

I was hoping to find the queen but I didn’t.  With all the bees buzzing around, that’s not
unusual.  I did find healthy larvae so
I’m confident the queen is alive and healthy. 

A queen bee can lay 1,500 to 2,000 eggs per day in the
summer. The eggs hatch in 3 weeks. It may sound like we are going to be overrun
with bees, but worker bees (the majority of the hive and the ones responsible
for collecting pollen) live 4-6 weeks in the summer and up to several months in
the winter. So at that rate of laying, the queen is replacing the dying bees
and growing the hive.
In 7 to 10 days I will open the hive again to look for the
queen, check for the presence of new larvae, inspect for any parasites that may
be present like Tracheal Mites or Varroa Mites. If needed, I will either add a
super to collect honey or swap with a new one. The time involved is minimal,
maybe 30 to 45 min, otherwise I let the bees do what they do.
I bee out!


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