Oxford Bees

An attempt to extract the nucleus lid from Hive C

Submitted by will on Sat, 02/06/2018 - 21:38

Colony 11 arrived in a nucleus box from a member of my bee keeping group. The box did not contain frames so the bees had started to build comb on the roof of the box. Today I tried to remove the box with mixed success.

Mission not accomplished. I now have a double height hive with the Queen in the top part.

When I received the nucleus box I took the bees out of the body of it and placed the roof on top of a Commercial hive body. The remaining space was packed with framed comb. The top was packed with a wooden board because the nuc' roof sat on top of the hive body.

I hoped that the bees would move onto the framed comb but it seems that they have started filling it with pollen and honey. There is sealed brood on the comb which is attached to the nuc' roof.

My aim today was to place another commercial box on top of the first. The Queen would be on the framed comb in the lower box; the nuc' lid would be in the upper box. The sealed brood on the nuc' roof would hatch out and then I could remove it at leisure whilst the Queen worked in the lower box.

Some of my plan happened. I placed a Queen excluder on the ground and placed the new box on it. I removed the packing wood and then gently lifted the nuc' box lid out. There was very little damage to the comb. I looked at the comb on the lid and saw sealed brood but didn't see the Queen. I placed the nuc 'lid in the new box and packed the lower box with framed comb. I packed the upper box with framed comb up to the nuc lid. I put the two parts together with an excluder between them.

I had hoped that the Queen would run out of the nuc' lid into the darker body of the lower box but it almost certainly didn't happen. There was no safe way to extract.

I'm no closer to removing the lid or the comb attached to it. I now have a hive whose internal organisation is disrupted. They may settle down nicely but there's a danger that they won't guard their doors adequately because the brood nest is too far from the entrance. That mistake may have compromised Colony 09 in Hive H last year. I don't know how to sort this out now.