Swarm #21. Very Small swarm of 1 1/2 frames of bees from High Ground Organics Hakins Slough pasture. The swarm is unlikely to survive but I installed it into a deep 5 frame nuc and feed it 1/2 gallon of sugar syrup. It had a laying queen 6 days later.
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.
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 be 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.
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.
Swarm #19, a nice 6 frame swarm moved into the Concord bait hive and was moved to HS12.
Swarm #18, Nice swarm of about 7 frames of bees collected from the Salinas Rodeo grounds in the middle of a concert. Set the hive at HS17.
Swarm #17, Collected a Swarm of around 4 frames of bees in Watsonville at Kearney and Walker St. The swarm was not easy to get to being about 15 feet up in a redwood tree. Put the bees in hive location LR3.
Swarm #16, Collected a nice swarm of about 7 frames of bees from the pear orchard of High Ground Organics Harkins Slough Farm. Put hive in location LR11
Nice swarm of about six frames of bees has moved into a five frame bait hive in Pleasant Hill. I expanded the hive to an eight frame hive and left it there for now. I plan to move it on 5/27/14.
Yard log note: I turned off the pollen traps at home and LR since I will be gone for the next week.
Swarm #14, Very Large swarm if 8 frames plus of bees was hived at High Ground Organics Harkins Slough Farm. The swarm probably originated from a commercial hive South of the lakeside organics farm. I had intended to place the hive in the Harkins Slough apiary but since I directly hived the swarm into a hive and left it there for three hours the field bees were already oriented to that location so I had to move it to the Lewis Road Apiary and placed it at LR14.