Busy as, well, bees, of course!
My bees had been very active all winter and into early spring. Suddenly in late April I noticed a marked decrease in activity. I checked the hive on May 2, 2021, and found a queen and a small amount of bees. There were no queen cells. The whole brood section was empty, but there were nine full frames of honey behind it. There was a family of mice in the back third, and it was moldy only back there, because I had neglected to put a ventilated inner cover in the back third. I did a swap with my other long hive, which was set up near my overwintered hive, and put the bees in the blue hive here in the picture and placed it where the brown hive had been so the returning foragers could find their home. On May 5, 2021, Mary Bouma had a nuc ready for me. It was a nice, full nuc with two frames of brood, one fully capped. I installed that in the vertical hive - the yellow one - here in the picture. Then I located the queen and made sure she was safely on the frame with open brood, then took the frame of capped brood and placed it in the blue hive. Mary and I concluded that my overwintered hive had swarmed - in late April. Since there was a queen, it just needed a little boost, which the frame of capped brood gave it. Now both hives are very actively foraging and bringing in lots of pollen. Thanks to Mary's nice full nuc, I now have two buzzing hives. I plan to get a third going in my other long hive which is cleaned out and ready to go in June, a second nuc from Mary. I will be starting field days on June 19, 2021, here in my home apiary. The full schedule is on my apiary page.