Queen cups, queen cells and emergency cells EVERYWHERE! Check it out:
This is good! They know their mom is gone and they depend on her. This is a big strong hive but it now has very little brood in it. The bees aren’t as chill as usual. And it will still be some time until a new queen starts to lay eggs. So what do you do with all the queen cells??? According to some people (I won’t mention names), you squash them all except one (the biggest best looking one) but I am in charge and I get to make the decisions around here. In my opinion, leaving one queen cell, is like putting all your eggs in one basket. Yes, if it succeeds, it will be great. But I am putting my eggs in as many baskets as possible this time!
Are you ready? Just a little glimpse of a big showdown! I have big beekeeping plans. I basically want it all. And I’m going after it. There’s no stopping me.
I will make another baby nuc and a regular nuc. Each will get a closed queen cell which means it should take only about a week for a queen to emerge.
Here’s baby grey. Messy but doable. See the cut-out queen cells on the right? That should work eh?! Off to a mediocre start. I didn’t get quite as many worker bees in the box. It’s just not super conducive to transferring frames due to different frame size. And messy because as I cut that portion out, all this honey got everywhere! Ants came running, and everything was sticky. I’m optimistic though. The nuc is small and insulated and has a compartment of sugar water so it should be pretty cozy in there regardless of their numbers.
Experiment #2: Nuc version 2.0: Thicker, sexier walls, and warmer 🙂 I hope the bees thrive in there. The reason behind the insulation is because it is such a tiny colony, they need a little extra support. Condensation is major though! I had to increase the roof ventilation by quite a bit. Have you ever put your hand in front of the entrance of a medium to big hive? You will feel the warm airflow just as if you were entering a mall in the winter. They produce a lot of heat! Maybe bee architecture could be a thing of the future? Your walls to be heated by nesting bees! Bee passive, let the bees heat your home. Bee moderated. Bee bold and bee hot! Lol.
As to splitting, I think things went well. Fingers crossed! And as to the remaining bee cells in the big hive, I am just going to leave them and see what happens. Maybe it’ll result in a queen competition. Stay tuned to find out if these splits worked! 🙂