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Apiary Inspection & First Nuc Sale

If you’ve followed this blog over the last couple of months, you know that I have been blessed (or was it cursed?) with several very strong hives that tried to swarm throughout late March and early April. From these events, I created a multitude of Nuc’s, experimenting with each start. My goal was to really learn about Nuc Creation by doing what is recommended and many things that are not. I started some with lots of resources and some with next to no resources. I played with the amount of Nurse bees and the amount of capped brood. I knew that I wanted to sell Nuc’s in 2012 and I wanted to start to get a feel for it.

The problem with this plan is that I started more Nuc’s then I really wanted to increase my hive count by this  year. At the time, I figured that my success rate would not be that high, so it would work itself out in the end. But, my success rate was higher then I had thought. In the end, I started 14 Nuc’s. Of those 14, 10 made it (when I was expecting 5 or 6.) Of the survivors, 6 or 7 are showing the kind of strength that I would be confident to pass along. So, that left me with at least 1 or 2 extra Nuc’s, beyond my increase goal. Since several folks have contacted me about getting Nuc’s, I decided to sell 1 (and may sell a couple more over the next week or so.)

When you sell a Nuc, you have to get your apiary inspected by the state Apiarist. He came by this past week and went through a majority of the starters that I have in the backyard. This was no small task, as I have 17 starters (caught swarms, trap out Nuc’s, my Nuc’s and 1 cut out.) In the end, he passed my apiary and said things looked great. He did find small hive beetles, but I told him that they were pretty much in all of my hives, but not to any great degree. Interestingly enough, he conceded that they were in most folk’s hives, but they were more like a Wax Moth. As long as you have healthy bees in a space that they can maintain (i.e. you don’t super them too  soon), the bees keep them in check. All in all, it was an interesting experience.

A new beekeeper, by the name of Wade, showed up to get his bees and we moved the frames from my Nuc to his hive. I am glad that I could sell him a Nuc as he may have resorted to a package next year (as mentioned a lot on this blog, I am not a fan of packages at all, especially for new Beekeepers.) The Nuc was great. The queen was working on her 2nd batch of brood and two frames were wall-to-wall capped brood on both sides. One contained some capped brood along the edges and lots of eggs/larva in the center. The final two were resources. Basically, this Nuc is getting ready to explode (I had wanted to sell the Nuc last weekend, but the timing did not work out right for the purchaser – I was worried that I would find swarm cells!) I am confident that this Nuc will do very well for Wade and his family. It’s a queen off of Larry, so it’s some of my best stock.

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