April 8, 2015

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.

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