I took a gamble and got some grafts done early this year...weather totally cooperated.
My favorite breeder queen is still going strong
I am always impressed when I open her hive. I wish I was that organized and efficient.
Overwintered daughters are grabbing a gear too
Overwintered nucs are ready to sell, now that I have virgins and capped queen cells on hand to give to the remaining frames
New design frames are getting filled with nectar/honey on the foundationless sides instead of drone brood.
Heres the drone brood I hacked out previously. I don't remove drone brood regularly, but was making up nucs with these frames. Checked for mites of course! I like how fat they draw out the foundationless part of the frame. Look forward to the fat honeycomb to come.
Making up mating nucs too
Collected up a swarm and got to use my new transport box
Fully screened bottom and inner cover
I kept them confined overnight and They took up a good portion of fortified 1:1
Monster hive got broken up..finally. This is a spring pic. It actually was 6 deeps high and had been and established colony since 2012.
The only hive I found a couple mites under drone brood. And it was far to big and heavy and was due for a brood break and change. The established queen got a single frame of open brood + all new frames to draw out and fill. All foragers flew back to rebuild. The remaining frames of bees, brood and feed were distributed out into new nucs with virgins or capped queen cells.
The brood break should take care of the mites. I only saw a very small few, but no reason to let them reproduce at all. I don't wait for fall when there is a natural wintertime brood break to address any mite issues. In my opinion that is far too late.
Simulated swarms work great for me for several reasons, including mite control. I want to graft from this queen too. NOW I can actually find her. And I get lots of new frames drawn out in a flash.
Been BUSY to say the least. That's the spring report from the Miller Compound