I went out to my Ada Apiary today to see how the nuc box was doing. I did not see any bees at the entrance of the nuc. This worried me as we have had two nights of freezing temperatures and frost warnings. I opened the lid to find two frames of bees and I did see the queen. I shook another frame of nurse bees from my other hive to help boost the nuc.
A raccoon or some other critter destroyed the top bar hive I am talking about below. All the comb and bees have been ripped out. Only 5 worker and 6 drones remained in the hive. The Queen is dead :(.
A raccoon was the culprit in the destruction of 3 top bar hives.
The top bar hive that had the small handful of bees was my next task. I figured they were about dead and I started to cut out the honey that was left. As I moved toward the area where the bees had been, I was soon greeted with a small group of bees. Turns out there was still just a handful of bees left in the hive, but there was also a Queen. I was happy to see her as this was the Daughter of the swarm queen from 2010. She is an Ohio Queen and I was sad to think she was lost. I had my other nuc box assembled, but I did not bring it with me. Next time I am in the Apiary, I will be bringing the nuc box, a queen cage and feed. April 11th is when I will be getting my first packages of bees for 2012. I plan to use a few of those bees to help boost this queen when I add her to a nuc box. I am hoping to rid myself of top bar hives soon. I plan to cut the comb out of the top bars and fasten them to frames.
I killed 8-10 small hive beetles in the nuc box and 3 in the full hive. I need to remember to get my beetle traps ready for my next visit.
I brought 3 drones home for my daughter to play with. Found one varroa mite on one of the drones.