Our farm has 10,000 new head of livestock this week: two new "nucs" of bees.
Because I picked them up in an enclosed vehicle (versus the open bed of a pickup), I put the nuc boxes inside larger boxes. I didn't want bees buzzing around me while driving.
Before setting up the new hives, we removed the feeders from the old hive and added a super. Then we were ready to set up the new hives.
Unlike "packaged" bees (essentially, a queen and workers in a box), nucs already have brood frames. It's a simple matter to transfer the frames into the hive box, then adding some additional frames from our own stash to fill out the box.
We kept the empty boxes and lids outside the hive overnight so all the stray bees would make their way into their new home, which they did.
The next day we added the feeders filled with fresh sugar water to the new hives, then closed them up to let the bees settle in. In the next few days, we'll add supers to the new hives as well as another super on the old hive.
Meanwhile it's lovely to see three beehives! The girls seem to be doing well, and with the abundant rain we've had this spring, they have flowers galore to explore.
UPDATE: A reader reminded me to mention yellow jackets, since our hives were viciously attacked by the little nasties last year.
A few weeks ago, Don hung ten baited yellow jacket traps in a wide circle around the bee yard in hopes of catching queens.
A few days ago we passed one trap near the bee yard and saw this very large and annoyed lady inside:
A queen? I sincerely hope so.
So far no attacks on the hives. Unlike last year, we have the hives within sight of the house and pass them several times a day. If yellow jackets attack this year, at least we'll know immediately.