First Builder of the Season

Going to try something a little crazy….need some queens here in a few weeks to make some splits as some of my over-wintered hives are feeling a little swarmish. We normally won’t start our first builder until the first week of May but it always feels like we are a little behind. I couldn’t see paying $42 a queen for 5 splits when we have an awesome breeder queen, made very little sense.

I made a video but the landowner showed up and I didn’t want to have our conversation posted, etc so I will just describe the process. I took one of our divided 3X3 medium mating nucs and pulled the divider. I went to some of my strongest over-wintered hives and pulled 2 frames of emerging brood, a frame of capped brood, and frame of eggs/larvea to keep the hive feeding. I then shook 5 more medium frames in, added a feeder and a pollen patty and left it. I’m hoping that even w/ the cool temps all those bees packed into the little space will keep the grafts warm enough to cap them.

Here’s to the first grafts of 2021!!!!!

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