New Colony (again)

A new colony addition to my bee inventory

So I bought a colony from a fellow beekeeper about a month ago. To accompany my other colony, which I’ve been bitching about for two years. Even though the old colony is the only ones which is still alive sinse I first started my beekeeping experience, three years ago. I have a spot for them close by home, at our communal vegetable garden. The other colony is staying where they are, about 3 km from my home. I must say a month later that having the colony a five minute walk from home is really very nice. They are getting way more attention than my other colony, who compared to the new colony I now know are a vicious bunch. I’ll add a video where I move them from an old hive to a new Styrofoam home, you will be able to see how docile they are.

The new colony is of the carnica variant (Apis mellifera carnica) and came out of winter in a 6 frame hive with a F1 queen, first generation pure breed. Beekeepers are racists I know, we don’t like subspecies intermixing….which is a conundrum for me as biologist (I could explain why I think that is a conundrum but I don’t want to make this post to long, maybe somewhere else).

Upgrading the hive

The beekeeper from who I bought the colony placed it, from his wooden 6 frame hive, into my 6 frame Styrofoam hive. He did this a few days in advance of me collecting the colony. I placed the hive in our communaal vegetable garden, close to home. They were flying like crazy in the unseasonably warm weather the first week on the new location. The first truly warm weather of the year. I can remember that I was still in my winter coat about three weeks before that time.

I’ve steadily upgraded the hive in the last month. Moving them from the 6 frame Styrofoam hive to a 10 frame wooden hive. Then to the 11 frame modern Styrofoam hive, bough especially for this colony. Finally I added a second brood box with an additional 11 frames a little over a week ago. I placed 3 frames with brood from the bottom brood box into the center of the new brood box. The rest of the box I filled with frames containing wax foundation. I did this to stimulate the bees to move into the top brood box and build comb onto the foundation. I’m not sure if this truly is a stimulus for comb building and I don’t have enough colonies to experiment.

I don’t expect any swarming this year but I’ll keep a keen eye on the garden bees. I have a look at/in the hive entrance every time I’m on the communal vegetable garden which is at least twice a week. And I just placed a second brood box on the the park bees hive not to long ago so I guess their fine (that’s how I’ll be calling them from now on).