It was such a long cold winter that we were certain that our one little bee hive hand not survived. In February I went out with my stethoscope and listened while I knocked on the side of the hive and nothing. I was sure they were dead. So I ordered another nuc to replace the hive. Well along came a warm day in March and I went down to the hive. On top of the snow was hundreds of brown spots and a few dead bees. The brown spots were, uh hum, bee poop. Bees will not go inside their hive, they are very clean insects, they wait for a warm day and they take what it called a cleansing flight. So that day I found out that the bees had made it through the winter. We were so excited but now we had more bees coming so what to do. Well, we ordered another hive from a beekeeper friend who builds them.
As you can see from the picture we had it built to match the first hive. The new one is on the right. The older hive is doing great. We have put a honey super on and are in hopes of getting a little honey for us this year. Last year we didn't harvest any so that the bees could have it all. It is probably good that we did so they had enough food for the winter. We will do the same with the new hive this year. By next year we hope to be able to harvest from both.
The above pictures are of installation of the nuc into the new hive. The green box is how the nuc arrives. This contains 5 frames of already drawn comb with a queen, brood that she has laid and a lot of working bees.
When we got home with the nuc we set it beside the new hive and opened the box so that the bees could get out to feed and drink. We let them settle down for a couple of hours since they had traveled over Maine's pot hole roads to get home. When we opened the nuc you could see the bee activity. The frames were very active. The five frames from the nuc were placed into our hive body. We put another super of frames on top so the queen could lay even more brood. You can see a few stragglers still in the nuc box. We just left the box next to the new hive and they found their way to their new home.
We are having so much fun with the bees but mostly we are just leaving them alone to do their thing. There are many things in bloom for them to make honey with so sweet things to come.