Today was the day for splitting the feisty hive on Phil’s far plot. The build up was intense, everyone focused deeply the issue of putting down the main path.
It was definitely a team effort with Neil and Steve taking the lead with Dave the Plod, Cliff and Will busy running back and forth to deliver new slabs. It looks amazing though! The path now covers half of the length of the site.
Chickens fed and someone had dropped in some left over meat. What promptly followed was an incredible display of Chicken Tag Rugby. I attempted to video it – apologies for the shoddy camera work but they run fast!
And so to the main event, bee hive splitting commmenced in the sweltering heat….
This is the new hive base placed 2-3 feet away. The next stage is to place the nuc box on top and add in the glucose food supply. The inside of the nuc box is designed to replicate a hive.
Before we began, I took the opportunity to film the bees going in and out of the hive. They awesome busy compared to the other hive which shows not only how well this colony have survived the winter but that we urgently need to split the hive before they swarm.
First we opened the hive and removed all the top boxes to access the brood boxes. Steve, Phil and I spent ages trying to find the Queen. We found her in the bottom of the brood box and removed 6 frames from the main hive. Three with bees and brood, one with honey and the last two with eggs. Bee eggs are very difficult to spot and we think we have put the right frames into the nuc.
The idea is that the newly hatched eggs will stay in the hive with workers to care for them. The workers will work out the Queen isn’t present in the box and they will convert one of the eggs into a Queen cell. Many of the bees will leave the nuc box and go back to the main hive. But hopefully enough will remain to start the new hive!
We have to wait a week before we can open the nuc box and see if it has worked! The tension is already killing me!