As we had suspected a few weeks back, the club hive was preparing to swarm. Ms. Sasha called us and told us that the bees had clustered on the post of the turkey cage in the apiary, which meant that they were getting ready to swarm. Luckily, they flew back to underneath the hive, and we suspect that it was because the queen wasn’t ready to leave yet. A few days later, Mr. Hodgie looked in the hive and found that there were frames with multiple queen cells on them, one of them actually having 12 of them. He took the bees under the hive and put them in Nuc 40 and then split our top box of the hive into two more nucs, Nuc W and Nuc G, including frames with queen cells. Now we had one hive and three nucs in the apiary.
On Saturday, we had a hive inspection at the apiary to check up on all of our new additions. Club member Nina collected the rest of the bees that were underneath the hive to put into Nuc 40.
We started going through the nucs, starting with Nuc 40. There were really only two frames with any drawn comb on them, and we could not find the queen. We moved on to Nuc W, and everything came to a halt with this hive. This was the nuc that we put the frame with 12 queen cells into, and we were surprised to find that we had five virgin queens running around on one frame. We were even lucky enough to catch one of the queens emerging from the cell on video.
We collected four of the newly emerged queens and put them in clips and left one of the queens on the frame. We took the four queens and put them into a queen castle with two frames per nuc. Ultimately, we ended up with three queens (one in Nuc 40, Nuc W, and Nuc G), four queens in each nuc section of the castle (that we clipped from Nuc W), and the original hive with an emerged queen. Lots of queens!
This is our hive inspection report for the first two nucs.