Monthly Archives: June 2014

June 29

The first 30 queen cell grafts were moved from the swarm box into LR1 set up as a cell finisher. Another 30 JZ cell cups were grafted and placed into the swarm box. Before placing the grafts into the box I refilled the water cloth and added fresh frames of honey and Pollen though I probably did not need to. I actually think I set the swarm box up with more bees than I needed to so it should easily be able to do well with the second grafting.

June 28

I purchased a VSH breeder queen from Harbo Bee Co. http://www.harbobeeco.com/breeder-queens/ The Queens are about $250 each plus shipping. I purchsed one as I only need about 10 queens to make my yards 30 % VSH queens. The Idea is to raise queens that are 100% VSH so their workers will beĀ  50 % after mating with the local drones. Also all the drones produced by queens that are produced by the breeder will be 100 % VSH introducing the VSH qualities to any queens that they mate with. My goal is to produce 10 queens.

I introduced the queens into a nuc on 6/11/14 and released her from the cage on 6/16/14 after I saw that the bees had accepted her. She has been laying now for about 8 days now so today I made my first grafting into 30 queen cups adding them to a swarm box that I made up. Because of the drought there is not much available for the bees and we are near the beginning of the dearth here. I have been feeding both sugar water and pollen Substitute now for about three weeks to keep the bees raising brood in preparation to make splits and setting up the cell builders. I have never tried to raise queens under these conditions so it will be interesting.

June 10

Swarm #20, Small Swarm of 2 frames of bees in Pleasant Hill Bait hive. I left it in place as the forage available is better in Pleasant Hill now that in Watsonville.

Update 6/24/14: I moved the hive into a 5 Frame nuc. It has 2 plus frames of bees and one frame of brood.