Re: Hey Newbees, who started this year, got a hive you want to brag on?
I started with two packages this year too, installing them April 9. One took off like a bullet....fast buildup, solid laying pattern, hauling something in. The other was slower, but the queen is really quite good as compared to the criteria laid out in a book or two, and now her hive is huge. Both built out a combo of plastic and foundationless frames (no drawn comb) and packed it full of honey and bees. I wasn't expecting any spare honey at all, but I took some the other day for table use and might be able to take more. I expected all kinds of trouble after studying here, reading books and talking to some locals, but it's been ok.
One hive has six 8 frame mediums, the other is five. The bigger one has so much bearding on it all.the.time that I'm slightly concerned about crowding, and thus swarming, in it.
I made three small nucs off the fast one. One nuc has a queen I let the bees raise and have been moved into a hive, the other two have purchased VSH queens. I'm focusing now on building the nucs up for winter.
Wish I had photos too...I don't have a smartphone and haven't hauled my Nikon out to the hives (I don't really want honey and propolis all over it).
made it to the second year with three hives, zone 6b