Introducing Two Large Nucs

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Currently, I have four large nucs (two deep hives!) for sale at $250 each.

These bees are located just a little north of Smith on the Noon Road. Please call or text me—for purchasing information or to set up an appointment to visit the apiary—at 360-354-3903 or send me an email. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Meantime, here’s some recent information about Nucs # 4 and #5 from my last post. The other two nucs for sale, #1 and #2 from my last post, are very similar to the two I’m describing below, and ready for sale.

Nuc #4 now has a second deep box. During the inspection yesterday morning, Saturday, June 5, the marked queen was present, and busy with her duties in the upper box. In the lower box, there were six frames of capped brood, as well as one full of eggs and nectar, and one side of another frame full of larvae. An orderly queen. The upper box has two frames of capped brood in the center two frames, as well as three more frames full of eggs and larvae on either side. That makes a total of eight frames with capped brood in this developing hive, which should become a decent team of honey-makers in the near future. As for food, the #4 nuc has two frames dedicated to nectar/honey, and one for pollen. There is also nectar/honey and pollen in the usual places on each of the brood frames, and a small pollen patty on top that they are paying attention to. I have fed this hive a couple gallons of 2:1 syrup in a frame feeder, which was removed during yesterday’s inspection. Currently, there are a total five empty frames counting the two I put in to replace the frame feeder space. The bees are working to fill them with comb, and should be ready for more brood and food as the season continues.

The Nuc #4 is one of six hives in a sunny apiary on Noon Road, Bellingham, WA.

#5 Nuc is also now a two-deep hive, and has six frames of capped brood (four centered in the lower box and two in the middle of the upper box). The food frames consist of 4.5 with nectar/honey, and one with pollen. This hive also is using a small pollen patty and was fed sugar syrup like #4. This hive also has 5 empty frames with the frame feeder removed, and the bees adding more comb as necessary. The marked queen was present and in the process of filling cells with eggs, just like the #4 Nuc.

Both nucs are growing at a steady pace.

All nucs are for sale at $250 each. I’d assess them to be very strong, and promising for this year’s honey harvest. They are hale and healthy, and will very likely be bringing in loads of nectar during the blackberry bloom, which is on the cusp of beginning here on Noon Road.

More information about the bees at Noon Road—

Last year, I purchased one hive at the end of April from Marie Eppens. The bees had been local to this region for at least four years. That hive swarmed about a month later. The swarm was captured, and made another good-sized healthy hive by fall. All the hives this year came from those two original hives. The first queen was marked 2020 blue. The second one is marked yellow because it is an easy color to spot, and was a decent reminder of which hive I was working with, as she is the 2020 daughter of the blue queen. In the fall, I gave them enough sugar syrup to get the hives ready for winter. I also gave them oxalic acid treatments in two sets. Ambient mite counts are still low to nothing. Both hives overwintered well on sugar boards. They also had access to pollen patties. So when March rolled around with its cool weather, I really wanted to do inspections, but I waited and waited for decent weather. Next year, I will inspect on the best of the weather forecasts in March, no matter how horrible (as long as it is not raining, snowing, or with high winds blowing). At the very end of March, I did an inspection. Both hives were healthy and active, and it didn’t seem like there was any need to rush into doing a Snelgrove split. But by April 12, there had been an amazing, and unexpected population explosion.

As I understand it, the Snelgrove Method is generally started toward the end of April in the Pacific Northwest. My two hives were split on April 12 and 14, but should have been split a week or two prior to that. Who knew? There were suddenly so many bees in both hives that, in addition to the two Snelgrove splits, side nucs were necessary for each. So my apiary went from two hives to six because of an overabundance of bees. Less than a month later, on Monday, May 10, there was a swarm. It collected on a fence line and hung to the ground from a metal post and a wooden post stapled to ancient barbed wire. Then again, on Wednesday, May 12, another swarm went straight into a blackberry patch. I now had eight hives, and a hands-on education about how to catch swarms successfully. These are Nucs #4 and #5.

The queens who produced these nucs are robust, quite large (even for queens), and are a beautiful beery amber color. I’ve marked five of this year’s queens pink for lack of a white pen, but I suppose it is a decent enough color for a new queen in one’s apiary. As I now have a blown glass queen catcher, and a one-handed queen catcher, and I took this year’s opportunity to learn how to mark queens.

Many thanks to Michael Jaross for teaching me many methods, details and routines for effective beekeeping. The bees continually teach me the specifics about how to care for them. The most important lesson they’ve taught me is that I will always be learning something from these surprising insects.

Honeybees! Ten-Frame Nucs for Sale.

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This year, my two hives have been rather prolific. They made it through the winter with great gusto, and then proceeded to be surprisingly productive. This apiary began this spring with two Snelgroves (counts as two nucs each) and two side-nucs, with the help and instruction of Michael Jaross. As spring progressed, so did these bees, adding two more nucs by the middle of May. That makes eight ten-frame nucs in total. My plan is to have a two-hive apiary, so I have a few hives for sale.

The Hives are labeled by number one through five, in the order of their appearance this spring, and in the following list.

Here is an introduction to the five currently available hives:

Nuc #1: $250
Marked Laying Queen 
Starting second deep
Contains as least three frames with eggs and capped brood
Nuc #2: $250
Unmarked laying Queen
Box A of a Snelgrove hive 
Nuc #3: $225
Marked Laying Queen 
Nuc #4: $225
Marked laying queen 
Nuc #5: $250
Marked laying queen.
Very strong, new nuc.

To purchase a hive or hives, you will need the following (per hive). —
• One or two deep brood boxes, depending on the hive size.
• Ten new brood frames per box with new foundation.
• Top and bottom board with screening in the openings along the front and each vent.
• A strong winch strap for holding the hive together during transportation.

The above equipment will be required two days prior to pick up. I will load the frames from the original deep box into the one you provide. Your frames will replace mine, which are fairly new, clean and in use. The top and bottom boards, and the strap will be used to prepare your hive or hives for transportation. I do not do beehive delivery.

Please contact me through this email address: egressst@gmail.com to make a purchase, &/or to schedule an appointment to see the hives.

These bees come from very large and robust queens that were in my two hives from last year. They were prepared for winter fairly well. Last fall, they added a few more pounds to their stores from frame feeders. They were also each fed a sugar board toward the end of December, which was topped off in late winter. They received oxalic acid vapor treatments last fall. Currently they are not showing signs of any mites or other issues. Very healthy and hardy stock. The bees originally came from Fairhaven, so they have been in this area at least three years. I purchased one nuc last year from Marie Eppens, who had treated for mites, and produced excellent nucs. Michael Jaross of Whatcom Bee Help has taught Marie and myself beekeeping principles, and generously assisted both of us, and others, with as beekeepers. I look forward to the future as a beekeeper because this is an important livelihood that continually amazes me.

—Anita K. Boyle

The Mill: Holiday Hand Made Bazaar

Art, Events, Poetry

Until December 24 at 8 pm, you can visit The Mill (205 Chestnut St., Bellingham) to purchase presents you won’t hardly find anywhere else. Original art, honey, handmade apparel, and of course, Bison’s fantastically beautiful and often humorous letterpress cards and books.

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This year, you’ll find everything on your list: from honey to journals, baby hats to greeting cards, tie-dyed vests to cookies. It’s worth the time stopping in even if the only thing you see is the etching press, imported from Paris, and moved across the country to Kevin and Carly’s shop. Or would that be Shoppe? The bright yellow walls will keep winter’s depression at bay. Egress Studio Press has a few things there, too: greeting cards, prints, poetry and little handsewn, illustrated journals.

Uploading this has taken so long that I can only say I have to quit. Jim and I are getting high speed real soon, supposedly. If we do, I’ll update this again. Jim says I ought to show what Egress Studio has at The Mill, and I want to share photos of Carly’s dad Dave and Jim, as well as Robert Sarazin Blake’s actual records (i.e. LP’s) and CD’s, and it only took an additional forty-five minutes to add them to the slide show. I’m giving up now, at Jim’s request.

For hours of operation and more information, see http://holidayhandmadebazaar.com/