BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nucleus Colony Workshop

Phil Gaven, Master Beekeeper, gave a class on making up nucleus colonies on Saturday at The Honey Exchange in Portland, Maine.

I love Maine. Everything was in bloom, it seemed. It was sunny and warm and we felt over dressed coming from up north, 2 hours drive. We walked around the quaint old neighborhood looking at the houses and stopped for coffee, but as soon as the class turned to go outside it was too chilly for the bees to fly.

Phil took us out to the apiary yard and we split a hive anyway, leaving the main colony to raise another queen. Little tidbits of info from other beekeepers make going to every possible meeting so valuable. I've had so many workshops and classes over the years, and maybe I just forgot this, but he mentioned bees won't draw comb when the queen is not present.

So instead of going home to split my hives I thought in these cold rainy days coming up this week I'd just let my bees while away the hours indoors drawing comb. I made all new deep frames for the new splits and painted the foundation with watered-down last season's honey to peak their curiosity. They should have a pretty good time. Hope it beats honey-bee ghost stories as told around the brood area during a New Hampshire spring thunder storm. It will be nice to have some new drawn comb to give the splits I'll make soon.

All nucleus colonies from Palmer seem so busy and happy in their new surroundings. Dandelions are now in full bloom, apple trees may be on the way out, but they hardly came into bloom while the cherry trees are bursting. The three farmers on Ferncroft road are busy in the fields, planting and prepping, as have we been out on Red Path. Memorial Day seems a good sign that frosty nights are past so we'll finish up our planting this week.

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