The date was May 16th, 2020. I was beginning to think it would never come. All the prep and anticipation over the Winter months and with Spring taking soooo long to kick in, my anxiety level was beginning to increase. We went through three postponed pick up dates. I knew it was the prudent thing to do and agreed with my mentor to wait. After all we were still seeing frost in May. I didn’t want all the work leading up to getting the bees to produce unsuccessfully results. I wanted the soon to be my bees to be set up for success! Nucs are more of an investment but considering you are getting a small established local colony with a proven queen, as a beginner I found it to be a justifiable expense. Not to mention it is a matter of opening the nuc box and transferring the five frames into the deep brood box. The leftover worker bees then worked their way into their new home and didn’t hesitate to begin foraging the new area for pollen and nectar.
Both nuc colonies have gentle temperaments making it much easier for me to perform the inspections.
Several weeks before the nucs were picked up the electric company contracted a tree removal company to clear their right a way. They happened to chip the trees which produced a large amount of mulch. Turns out they needed a place to get rid of the mulch. Seriously!! We’ll take it and knew exactly where it was going – straight to the bee yard!
This leads me to hive placement. Full sun and entrances facing in a southernly direction. Ventilation will become important during the heat of July and August. The sun keeps small hive beetles at bay. A southernly facing hive will not get as much wind. 18 inches off the ground is suggested by most. Predators like skunks will end up exposing their less dense hairy underside to bee stings when reaching up for a potential meal.