Ok, so it was no big deal to give names to the five hives of Russian bees at COA’s Beech Hill Farm – but it seems like an important first step. The hives’ names are: Alexandra, Olga, Dina, Natasha and Catherine. Natasha (think Bullwinkle’s Natasha) is the strongest hive. She has a honey super of mostly undrawn plastic frames on and when checked yesterday there were bees present in the super – not tons but some. When we tipped the top box there were 4 or 5 frames with queen cups on the bottom. No signs that they were more than cups, but we ran the hive tool through them anyway.
Catherine is an overwintered hive that was getting lost and dwindling in a deep so she was moved first to a cardboard 5 frame nuc box and then yesterday to a wooden nuc box with a top feeder. There was brood on three frames (pattern ok) and my guess is that in another two weeks she’ll be ready to go back to her deep. Only a single at first. Standard nuc treatment.
Alexandra, Olga & Dina are all in double deeps and while they are not busting at the seams all three are using the top and bottom boxes. Hopefully all three will be ready for honey supers within a few weeks.