It has been a while since I have blogged about my bees, and it is time for an update. I currently have two bee hives in my backyard, and I care for a third for a neighbor. I am really excited about this, since just a couple months ago, I had just one weak hive that was struggling to survive.
One of my neighbors is no longer able to take care of his bees, so I have been helping him out. Last summer he gave me a hive that was not doing well, and I had hoped that this hive would flourish this spring, but unfortunately the queen stopped laying eggs, and the hive dwindled down to nothing.
Last month I got a “nuc” from a beekeeper in Loris. “Nuc” is short for nucleus, and that is a mini hive that contains a laying queen with three frames of brood, and two frames of honey and pollen. I transferred this nuc into a full sized hive, and the bees have taken off. They quickly built up the rest of the 8 frame hive body, and I added a second body a few weeks ago. This one is almost built out with wax comb, and they will be ready for a honey box soon! The queen is very busy laying lots of eggs, and this hive has quickly built up into a nice, healthy hive.
I am also caring for my neighbor’s HUGE bee hive. This is a strong hive that has two full hive bodies, and three honey boxes (supers). One of the honey supers was filled with capped honey, and I was able to harvest some honey a couple weeks ago. When I checked this hive yesterday, I noticed that it was filled with several queen cells. When a healthy hive makes new queens, that usually means that the hive is about to swarm. Beekeepers do not want a hive to swarm, because that means half of the bees fly away to start a new hive.
To try to prevent the bees from swarming, I split the hive, taking some bees, some brood, some honey and pollen and some queen cells and moved them into an empty hive in my yard. If all goes according to my plan, a new queen will hatch, and start building this hive up for me. I also hope I squashed the urge to swarm in my neighbor’s hive.
That’s the update! I am trying to figure out how to clip my phone onto my bee suit. If I can do this, I may try to do a Facebook Live of one of my hive inspections.