We harvested 33 queen cells, however, some were a little small so we put 2 small ones in 1 nucleus hive to let survival of fittest prevail. Prepared our 3 queen rearing hives and regrafted late on May 25. It is now time to wait and see which of the queen cells emerge and which of the virgin queens that emerge actually are successfully mated. We saw lots of big fat drones in our hives and know there are many more flying around so now we will pray for good mating weather.
It is important to keep our queen rearing hives feeling like they have a bountiful honey flow, so we feed them with a syrup of sugar and water as well as a pollen patty, in addition to what their foragers are bringing in from the natural honey and pollen flows. This is always an exciting time of year with new birth and watching the flowers develop bringing the necessary nectar to make our fabulous honey. Make sure you are planting bee friendly plants.
We are set to harvest our first series of queen cells tomorrow and place them in starter nucs. We have 3 queen rearing hives operational right now and 2 more just about ready. We selected 2 queen colonies that we used last year and have 1 new one. We grafted 15 cells to each hive as this is the first round and it appears as though we have a 70% maturity rate. We will see how it goes when the cells are moved into the nucleus colonies. Next the queens need to emerge and then they have to be successfully mated. But we are launched. Looking forward to getting the second round of cells started tomorrow afternoon.
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