Wow. I now have 4 hives – I will flesh this out later, but just mentioning a new swarm, and a new nuc, both from my friend.
He had HEAPS of queen cells in his hive, and there were so many bees, which is why they swarmed. After I caught Daphne, and relocated her, he gave me a couple of frames of brood and honey, with some bees, and a couple of queen cells – I installed this in a nuc box (has 5 frames only), and all is happy. I have since transferred them to a full size box, and have seen both queen, and fresh eggs – so she has mated and begun laying. There is also a fair amount of fresh honey, so all is well with that hive. I shall call her Hebe – after the hebe bushes nearby.
After this, my friend’s hive swarmed again – still too many bees and queen cells. He caught this one, and popped it in a 3/4 honey super, as he had run out of woodwork. Then, a few days later, whilst he was away on business, his hive swarmed AGAIN. I raced around again, to grab the swarm, and play with the puppies. Gorgeous puppies. Well bred, pure black, squirmily wriggley lovely spaniel puppies. The new swarm was pretty little, but is now happily installed in my Apiary, next to a flax bush – so this is Harakeke – after the Maori word for flax.
So now I have four hives.
Today I looked at the hives, and Olive and Daphne are going (to use the appropriate scientific term) gangbusters. They are rapidly filling the top boxes with honey, and I am worried that they will fill them before I pull the mite strips out, and can add supers.
The other two hives, Hebe and Harakeke, are establishing themselves – I saw both queens today, as well as eggs and fresh honey. No need for my help. I may give them a week, and then put in mite strips, to really help them stay strong and healthy. They won’t be needing harvesting this season – perhaps in the autumn. It is all very exiting.