Protecting Spring Nuc
The weather had been lovely for several days. I had completed my spring hive inspections and made up my first nucleus colony of the season to raise an extra queen in case I need one.
Nucleus colonies are nice to have since they are half the size of a regular hive and usually include gentle nurse bees and brand new arrivals.
I had also pulled a frame of brood, or capped bees, and notched the frame to encourage bees to build queen cells.
Shortly after setting up the nucleus colony, the weather took a turn back to winter. Knowing that this nuc was vulnerable, I wrapped it in one of my black quilted insulated hive wraps and moved it to my garage for the weekend.
The bees were kept inside by stuffing a muslin kitchen towel into the entrance.
I was feeding this small group of honeybees with sugar syrup through a mesh circle in the middle of the nuc box. Having them in my garage made it quite convenient to check them for food and give them more, if necessary.
By the second day, they were quite louder when I removed the jar of sugar syrup to give them more to eat. The raised noise level let me know they were not too happy to be locked inside so as soon as the forecast turned warmer, I returned them to my garden.
Today I checked the frame and found three new sealed queen cells so the girls have been busy.
One of the cells is now in another colony and the girls have two queen cells to raise once the queens hatch. If all goes well, one of the queens will go on a mating flight and come back to establish a new colony.
I will know in another 4 weeks or so.