This week in the bee yard we helped spread the love.
If you are a regular reader of our blog, then you will definitely know that one of our hives (home to Queen Lizzz) is much slower and weaker then the other colony (Queen Beeatrice's). It is still very consistent and doesn't seem to be doing bad per se, but we haven't seen much growth in quite some time.
After monitoring it for about a month, with no real improvement, we decided to take action and put our multiple-hive apiary theory to the test.
Lucky enough, my brother is in town so he got to help out this week and put on the bee suit for the first time (new-bee)!
We took to researching before we began to make sure we followed the right steps.
One of the most important tips being to make sure you do no accidentally transfer the queen of one hive to another. That is, of course, easier said than done as her majesty is usually pretty aloof!
We got our equipment, I gave my brother a little crash course, suited up and off we went. In the back of my mind, I had a pretty strong feeling that we weren't going to be shocked when we opened up the hives. They had both been growing at the same rate for quite some time, so when we opened up Lizzzie's hive and saw about the exact same number of bees as two weeks ago, we immediately went to work getting ready to transfer.
I did a quick inspection to see how the hive's health was and we saw barely any brood, definitely not a good sign. My brother simultaneously opened our second, stronger hive and I looked through the frames until we found the perfect amount of brood to pass over.
We then took one of the empty frames from the side of Lizzz's hive and swapped it for a nice full frame of capped brood from Beeatrice's.
We were very careful to brush a majority (but not all) of the nurse bees off the frame to ensure we didn't sneak the queen in there by accident. The full frame of brood got placed right in the middle of the hive, the ideal result being a jumpstart to the colony's population.
We put the extra empty frame in the middle of the stronger hive as an experiment to see the speed at which that colony can fill it up.
And now we wait...
All we can do is keep our finger crossed, make sure they have lots of water and check on their progress next week.
Stay tuned to our blog and social media to find out how our little experiment goes!