Once you install the bees, dumping in the bee package and hanging the queen cage in the hive, you close up the box and worry about things. You can’t open up the hive and disturb things or the bees might reject the queen. You have to wait four or five days.
It was nasty weather with heavy rain. I waited until this afternoon when the rain let up and checked the hives. The queen cages were empty and the bees had cleaned up the frames and were making honey already. It was cold still, so I did not do much of an inspection, but I am guessing from the behavior of the hives, that the queens are all right.
A hive without a queen will be disturbed, aggressive and very active. A happy hive with a queen has no reason to be aggressive. These hives have bees leaving to go out on business with bees returning with pollen. They are eating up the sugar like crazy. These are happy hives.
I will feed them heavily for the next two weeks. By May 1, the nectar will be flowing and the bees will be self sustaining. By the middle of May, the bees bees will have double or trebled in population and I can stop worrying for a while.
In May, I will start adding supers. First I’ll add another deep and let them fill that up and then in a couple of weeks I can start adding the honey supers.
The Nucs arrive around May 15th, and this starts all over again.
Connie is strong, but still hasn’t recovered from the winter. I want to split her, but I can’t until her population goes up.