Last Thursday started as an early morning, I left the gardens at 5:00 and drove to the beeyard to pick up our 2017 nucs. Yes, this is a little late to be getting bees for installation, so many great flowering nectar plants are done. But we like our supplier, are always happy with the quality, and can acknowledge that this is a slow year and a slow start to bees too is the downside.

Our nucs had a long ride from Deckerville in the early morning, so we chose to place them near their future home and let them settle before installing them into the sister hives.

Tuesday morning we set to work inspecting and installing the nucs. It is important to confirm with newly purchased bees that there is a laying queen. The first box we opened was hopping! They were bursting at the seams with adult bees and the frames were chocked full of brood of all ages- from tiny eggs up to capped larvae. The queen here is very productive and this hive is well on its way to a productive season.

Unfortunately, as we opened the second nuc we could tell immediately there weren’t as many worker bees. It didn’t take us long to acknowledge we didn’t have any brood of any age and no eggs either. We’ll give it a day or two and check again, but we anticipate contacting the supplier and requesting a replacement queen!

In addition to installation, we also medicated the bees today. New to Dow Gardens management, we added mite strips to both the newly installed bees and the overwintered hive. We also use an antibiotic to help control American Foul Brood. The risk of American Foul Brood is that an infected colony has the potential to contaminate all the equipment and honey. The necessary action after finding American Foul Brood is to burn everything, including harvested honey. We surely want to prevent American Foul Brood!

Last Thursday started as an early morning, I left the gardens at 5:00 and drove to the beeyard to pick up our 2017 nucs. Yes, this is a little late to be getting bees for installation, so many great flowering nectar plants are done. But we like our supplier, are always happy with the quality, and can acknowledge that this is a slow year and a slow start to bees too is the downside.

Our nucs had a long ride from Deckerville in the early morning, so we chose to place them near their future home and let them settle before installing them into the sister hives. Tuesday morning we set to work inspecting and installing the nucs. It is important to confirm with newly purchased bees that there is a laying queen. The first box we opened was hopping! They were bursting at the seams with adult bees and the frames were chocked full of brood of all ages- from tiny eggs up to capped larvae. The queen here is very productive and this hive is well on its way to a productive season.

Unfortunately, as we opened the second nuc we could tell immediately there weren’t as many worker bees. It didn’t take us long to acknowledge we didn’t have any brood of any age and no eggs either. We’ll give it a day or two and check again, but we anticipate contacting the supplier and requesting a replacement queen!

In addition to installation, we also medicated the bees today. New to Dow Gardens management, we added mite strips to both the newly installed bees and the overwintered hive. We also use an antibiotic to help control American Foul Brood. The risk of American Foul Brood is that an infected colony has the potential to contaminate all the equipment and honey. The necessary action after finding American Foul Brood is to burn everything, including harvested honey. We surely want to prevent American Foul Brood!