Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Update on mating nuc experiment

The mating nuc was not as successful as I had hoped, but it was a good learning experience!

The bees ate through the sealant to access all four chambers which left me with one lovely queen that was laying well until I accidentally killed her!
The photo above is of the workers trying to revive/groom her. I found her on the floor of the nuc, I assumed that I crushed her as I removed the frames. This is the first time that I have killed a queen, I felt like a guilty queen killer :-(
I took her out of the hive and placed her on the roof of another hive. A strong wind lost her!
I had planned to store her in alcohol, If I can remember this is an effective swarm lure. 

I had ordered three six frame poly nucs. I spilt the mating nuc into two (instead of four) and moved them into two of the poly nucs. This was made up of four frames with stores and eggs from the queen I had killed, with two additional frames for the bees to fill with stores. 

A week later, I checked them very carefully and they both had multiple capped queen cells. 
The poly nucs are very handy as there is a built in feeder and a clear screen to view the bees without upsetting them. I gave them both a block of fondant. I don't plan to do anything with these two nucs until next spring other than feed them. I'm sure they will sort themselves out regarding a queen.

I used the third poly nuc to house a weak colony that I had used for spilts earlier in the year. I'm hoping the better insulation will allow the workers to start foraging earlier instead of heating brood. I really want this hive to build up for winter as I love their queen. A lovely native dark queen, that produces docile and vigorous bees. 


  1. Good bee info once again. I am learning a lot about bees through reading your blog, and hope to get more involved with our two hives when we are less busy. At the moment, though, the bees are left to live their lives as they wish without any interference / assistance from us!

  2. Oh that is such a shame I know how you feel I thought I had killed the queen once but it turned out to be a drone, I should wear my glasses when dealing with the hives.
    The hive split I did earlier this year after reading about yours seems to be thriving so we are up and running now with 3 hives, just need to get them through the winter.

    1. I'm delighted to hear that Dawn. It's great to experiment with them a bit


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