I moved the nucleus colony with my new breeder queen into a full-sized hive today, it was too hot to wear a bee suit or jacket, so I wore just a hat and face veil.
I’m pleased to say that even though my smoker was lit, and on standby, I did not have to use it – these bees were remarkably calm and only flew up when I bashed the stragglers out of the nuc body into the hive. Another big manipulation carried out with no stings, and no grumpy bees.
Having placed the nuc where the hive would be, it was a simple case of moving the nuc aside and placing a new hive where the nuc had been.
The frames were packed with capped brood and honey, so much so that the queen was walking around the frames looking for empty cells she could lay her eggs. As the cells were all pretty much full, I split the brood nest and placed two frames of drawn comb in, so that the workers can polish the cells and the queen will have somewhere to lay.
It is important that your queen has empty cells to lay in, otherwise she will stop laying – this could also lead to the queen being superseded as the bees might think she is not performing well enough.
I’ll leave this hive alone until the weekend, when I will check to see if the queen has laid eggs in the drawn comb I gave her, and if so, I might be able to take some grafts to do a last run of queen cells.