Hiving the bees

Meet Mr. White and Mr. Pink. These are nucleus hives, called “nucs“, and they are crowded with four frames each of bees, drones, and their queen. We brought the nucs home from Skowhegan on Wednesday night but the transfer has to be done on a sunny afternoon while the bees are flying and this is our first good day since then. Fortunately, I work for an organization willing to let me off on a weekday afternoon for a bee emergency.

Bees in nuc boxes


I always wear full suit when I’m going to be deep in the hives, but I prefer to work bare-handed. I was stung on the pinkie in the first 30 seconds, so went and got my church gloves on. The frames were full and made the transfer nicely. One nuc had a few supercedure cells, which I knocked off with my hive tool. Now I just hope they settle in and we can avoid a swarm.

Placing frames into the hive


These photos don’t really show the cloud of bees in the air – which is something you really notice while you’re working with them. The sound of thousands of bees, the smell of wax and honey, the warmth they give off in the hive, the simple energy and industry of the hive; none of it translates well to media. On the bright side – neither does getting stung.


2 thoughts on “Hiving the bees

  1. Hi Amy John Blake here(Kates husband) we have moved to St Stephen and I brought my three hives down from Cape Breton and they love it here. We got them here about May 1 and already have one honey super full. Just put new deep supers on all three. I always come and check on your bees. You gave me some good ideas for wintering. I did wrap them in tar paper and made quilt tops for them. Quilt tops are a shallow super with a three eights groove with a piece of luan and another one at the same space, drill 3/4 inch holes all through both pieces and then put wool cloth on top. It wicks the moisture and keeps the girls nice and dry. I have also been working with organic powdered sugar for mite control and have had none now for two years. You just pulverize the sugar and sprinkle it all over the bees, they seem to like it and it gives them good hygiene. With screen bottom boards, nine frames and the sugar the girls are very, very happy. I also got a nuke I started which will be ready next week.
    Happy beekeeping and bee happy

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