Come for a walk with me, out to see the new bees. First we'll cross the yard, step over the token sheep fence (and break it to Weena and Oona that no, it is not dinnertime), then climb over the big gate. From there, we'll walk along our dirt road just a bit to the main road. Stop, look and listen carefully for the cars that drive far too fast, then dart across the road to the hay field on the other side. Just a quick walk through the rain-soaked grasses and clovers and then listen again, this time for the hum of the bees. The new bees.
The five nucs I reserved in January were finally delivered last Thursday. After giving them a few days to get used to their new surroundings, I put them into their new permanent homes late on Sunday afternoon. (Their homes which are still missing parts and missing paint... I forgot the entrance reducers, the small stones to prop up the covers, the big stones to put on top of the covers, the covers still need to be painted, and I need to put down a base of some sort. Craig is donating some chipped pieces of bluestone - these bees will have a nicer patio than we do!) Anyway, not perfect, but I don't think the bees care much. These nucs were packed to bursting with bees and they will be well chuffed to have plenty of room to spread out.
If you're wondering why the yard looks like such a jumbled mess, it is because the five empty nucs are leaning against the five hives so that the stragglers could find their way into the new homes. I need to get out there today to gather up the nucs and stack them for pick-up. (In the photo below, you can see the five nucs before being transferred to the hives.) I don't get to keep these nuc boxes, but I've been looking up plans for building a few myself. Not only are nuc boxes handy for making splits, but they are also just the ticket for capturing and transporting swarms. I've got my fingers crossed that I'll have the good fortune to find a swarm in the coming weeks.
I've still got a few empty hives ready to go, just in case...