It’s nectar flow! We’re in the middle of blackberry season.
Today was the annual record-the-queen-lines day. Ariadne Apiary started with two Italian packages in 2011. We added a Puyallup survivor swarm that year. In 2012 we put in two packages of Carniolans. Toward the end of summer we requeened a weak hive with a local (Gorst) survivor queen from Jason Deal. That queen cleaned up a weak sick hive and turned it into our most thriving hive. This year Ted has steadily been requeening the surviving hives with Jason’s bees.
Here’s the result: there are no surviving hives from the two original Italians. There is one surviving line from the 2012 Carniolans, and we have two hives of that line. There are three other lines in the apiary, two from Jason and one from the association.
Closing out the stats from 2012: we went into winter with four top bar hives, one Warre, one foundationless Langstroth, and one top bar nuc. The four top bar hives made it out of winter. Of those, two were requeened in the last month.
In the outyard hive I populated a new hive with an Italian package. They’ve filled out 11 of 14 bars during nectar flow. I found an empty queen cup (and did not squash it). Dylan took the photo, here’s what a queen cup on a top bar hive looks like. I’m considering pulling a couple of bars from this hive and putting them together with a queen Ted and Jason grafted from our Gorst Survivor hive.