Reversing Hives and Installing Russian Honeybee Queens

This week has been quite exciting. We were expecting a shipment of Russian Queens to be shipped from Charlie Harper so we felt pressured to finish inspecting and reversing all our hives in our main Breeding Yard.  Monday and Tuesday went well as we expanded most of our winter nucs into full deeps and identified colonies which could be split.

On Wednesday we woke up to heavy rains but we had a commitment to participate in Garden Club of  New Jersey’s  “Garden Thyme education Day” at Colonial Nurseries in Lincroft, NJ.  Earlier that morning, the post office called to let us know our queens had arrived. While Ed set up at Colonial Nurseries I rushed out to get the queens and then when back home, unpacked them and gave each queen a drop of water. I left them in my kitchen cabinet while I headed for the Garden Day event. The weather settled enough for us to spend a few hours answering bee questions and chatting with garden enthusiasts.

At 2 pm, once back home, we dodged some raindrops, and began setting the new queens into nucs and splits.  As part of this process we selected frames of open and capped brood from strong colonies. Since open brood frames will have nurse bees on it, and capped brood frames will soon have emerging  nurse bees we selected these type of frames because nurse bees will remain with the newly created nucs and splits. The nuc’s and splits will have to be fed pollen and syrup  since forager bees were left in their original hives.

On Thursday we finished setting out the new queens. Over the next few days we will check each caged queen’s nuc for the development of  any queen cells, pinching off any we spot. Our goal is 100% acceptance for our new queens.

Mary & Ed Kosenski