Saturday, March 24, 2012

Splitting the Porch Bees

Thanks to some TLC and a warm winter, the porch bees needed more room.

Porch Bees: Before

Splitting a hive is basically an inspection that results in dividing the frames with food and brood. The queen is left in the "old" hive or moved, and the group that doesn't get a queen must have a frame of freshly laid eggs to create a new queen.

We suited up and had the cushy accommodations of the porch chair for Mark and shade for me during this process.

We were surprised to see nearly every frame was filled with brood or food -- the queen really needed more space to continue her work!

The drone brood is at the bottom of the frame, poking out a bit.

The Pollen Smorgasboard
 We never saw the queen, but we saw plenty of evidence that she is a fabulous, busy lady, so we're hopeful the new colony will convert one of her eggs into a new queen. Each deep super with frames from the original colony was topped with a deep super of empty frames.
Porch Bees: After

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