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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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 :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Been working on the new Lab too..still under construction, but usable. That grafting stand works amazingly well.







 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Dang it Lauri, your so organized.
It's my Lack of experience in the scheduling and organization end that is making it a lot of work this year. Lots of extra steps. A few things I could have done a little different last fall that would have made it less work now. But it's all good. I'm learning.

The queens I overwintered in the mating nucs have given me a BIG advantage. I also have updates for this thread I haven't had time to post yet.
We have milder weather here near the coast than many do in the Northern Western states, but did have several weeks of cold snaps with below 0 temps+ windchill. I did not lose any of these little colonies on mini frames.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...n-overwintering-40-mating-nucs-on-mini-frames

These two were my smallest of the colonies. This photo was taken right after that cold snap. I fully expected to see a whole bunch of nothing when I cracked the lid. I was surprised and pleased they did so well. You can see they worked the fortified sugar block. By placing it directly over the cluster on the top bars, they have a small micro climate under the block where it's warmer and condensation on the block provides a slow source of feed. I have no doubt without these blocks they would never have made it. That's dry BeePro sprinkled on top what's left of the sugar block. (By sprinkling it on top I don't force them to eat it.)



http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?290641-My-recipe-method-for-sugar-blocks
 

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Keep the photo's coming Lauri, Pictures are worth a thousand words. You can't imagine how many people you inspire with all of your Information. There are a LOT of new BeeKeepers out there that needs this kind of Information & inspiration. Everyone does not do everything the same, especially in BeeKeeping. So keep us posted on everything you are doing, it may seem like old hat to you but rest assured, it will be NEW to someone on BeeSource.
 

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Re title subject:
Both the far west and the extreme northeast are reporting a mild late winter and an early spring. In the middle of the country, we had a fierce early season. The reason is a dip in the west to east jet stream that more often goes straight across the northern tier of states, but this year sags down into Texas. That steers the cold air mass into the middle of the country. Good for some; bad for some.

This year, our bees and trees are about three weeks late. Two years ago, they were 3 weeks early. In between, the season changed from early to late halfway through. Get used to the new norm, and be ready for a six week swing in in timing each season.
Walt
 
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