Since we lost Geraldton this winter we have been planning to make a second hive. Buying bees costs money but splitting an existing hive is one way to make sure bees don’t swarm and upset our new neighbours and get another hive in the process. We’ve been feeding Moose Factory like crazy to make sure we had enough bees to make a second hive and ordered a queen so we were ready to go when spring splitting season arrived.
Our queen was scheduled to arrive this week, so we spent some time last weekend cleaning up our bee yard in preparation. We moved out the old shed that was taking up space and cleaned out all our deep hive boxes. We had a small wax moth infestation over the winter so some frames got bagged up into the freezer and some got put back into circulation.
On Tuesday we did the actual hive split – placing 3 brood frames with bees into a new hive box and stocking both hives with more pollen patties and sugar feed. We’ve decided to name the new hive Chapleau to stick with our small town northern Ontario theme.
The queen arrived last night in her tiny little queen shipping box. Jon brought her home from bee club and we stored her in a kitchen cupboard until Jon could install her into the new hive tonight.
In theory, she’s going to escape from her box, the bees are going to love her and they will use her to build an army of nectar collecting foragers. We’re supposed to leave the hive alone for another 10 days so we won’t know if this comes true or if they just decide to kill her off for a while but we’ve got our fingers crossed!