Mother N had me shivering in my skivvies yesterday at Joe's trap practice. The night before, temps had dropped below freezing, and we had woken up to frost on the ground. I expected all the apple blossoms and baby leaves to wilt in defeat, but they look like they aren't playing Mother N's games this time around and will carry on as if this is a normal spring.
Last Wednesday, I picked up a new package of bees. Having made it a full year without killing off my first hive, I figured it wouldn't be completely irresponsible to add more bees to the farm. Not even bothering to don a bee veil, I dumped those bees in the new hive as if I had done it a million times. This time, though, I strapped the box with the queen bee in it directly to a frame with a rubber band and squished the two frames as closely together as I could in hopes that the worker bees wouldn't draw out any burr comb this time around. I had hoped to check on the new hive Saturday, but Mother N wasn't cooperating. It finally warmed back up enough today to let me check on my hives. I'm learning that bees will do as they please, regardless of your bright ideas.
Thankfully, the queen decided she didn't want to lay any eggs in the burr comb and had wandered off to a different frame to do her business. (She's marked with a blue dot.)
Convinced that the new bees were doing well enough, I opened up my first hive. I love these bees. While the new bees were buzzing around like mad (though not aggressively), my old hive didn't even seem to notice that I was there. Third frame in, and I found some capped brood.
I hope I'm doing this correctly... Since I am only using medium, 8-frame boxes, I figure the bees will want 3 boxes for the brood chamber. Then I added a queen excluder and a new honey super on top of that. Pretty soon, if the bees are happy enough to make some honey, I'll need a ladder to get in.