Swarm #10: A swarm of unknown size has moved into the 8 frame bait hive in concord. I will leave it there fro a while as the honey flow is much better there then in my yards.
Swarm #11: I watched a small swarm of 2 1/2 frames of bees move into the 8 frame bait hive in Pleasant hill. I moved them into a 5 frame nuc and will leave them there for a while as the honey flow there is much better than in my yards.
Swarm #9: A 2 pound swarm collect from Salinas High School. I added the swarm to Swarm #5 on Home #3 position since that swarm turned out to be queenless.
Swarm #8: A strong 8 frame swarm moved into a bait hive in Pleasant Hill. I placed it at HS #14 position.
Swarm #7: A three frame swarm from Prunedale. I hived on foundation and set the nuc in HLR #5 position.
Swarm #6: A decent 4 frame swarm in Marina. I hives it on Foundation and set the nuc in HS #6 position.
Swarm #5: A small 2 frame swarm in Salinas. The home owner had sprayed down the swarm with water so there were many dead and chilled bees on the ground, I hate it when they do that. There is a good chance this swarm will be queenless. I set this nuc at Home #3 position.
I stocked the remaining 5 mating nucs with bees and placed the ripe queen cells into all 15 nucs. Since I have 20 ripe queen cells I placed 2 cells in 5 of the nucs and 1 queen cell in the remaining 10 nucs. I am cautiously optimistic and am hoping to get 10 queens from this, we will see.
Some small tragity has occured. I must have inadvertently killed my VSH breeder queen during the last grafting as the hive is now queenless and has several emergency queen cells. That means I essentially have 16 mating nucs from that 100% VSH queen that cost me $280. LAst Fall I managed to raise 4 queens from her so I only need to get 6 more from this round to break even. The VSH daughters do not necessarily make a very good production hive, of the four from last Fall only one is building into production quality, and two are on the weak side. They should probably be considered as drone producers for future queen rearing to increase the VSH genes in the overall stock. Since I am so small it is probably good that I raise the rest of this years queens from a good production hive with low mite count.
I went through all my hives and found one that was about to swarm, I pulled 6 frames from it and setup two more nucs with some queen cells from that hive. This gives me a total of 18 nucs with queen cells due to hatch this week.
I have 20 ripe queen cells due to emerge on Thursday and want to set up 15 mating nucs but it is raining! The queens will be emerging Thursday rain or shine so I may have to do it in the rain.
The rain stopped at 11:00 am so I was able to stock 10 of the nucs with bees and I will be placing a ripe queen cell in them tomorrow. The ground was too wet for me to get into one of my apiaries so I will have to set up the last 5 tomorrow in the AM and place the queen cells in the PM. I want to have the nucs queenless for several hours so they realize that they have no queen and will be more receptive to accepting the ripe queen cells.
Swarm #4: A five frame bait hive in Concord is completely full of bees, a nice swarm. I placed it in HS #4 location.