Anyway getting into the hives, Itsy as you can see isn't very lively yet but they're slowly getting there:
They've got two new frames partially drawn out and as you can tell they're not following the pattern very well. What can you do, they've got better plans than what the foundation says apparently.
Looks like I'm going to have some drones mixed in with some workers, and a few unknown cells since they aren't full sized. I'm starting to think I should have just made both hives foundationless. As the one that is foundationless is going to town and has all normal cells, instead of the craziness of foundation drawing.
Now the rest of the hive was a bit concerning for a new keeper. The brood pattern is rather spotty on 2 of the 4 frames from the nuc, and there isn't much nectar/sugar water stored. I've been feeding 1:1 sugar water with a bit of honey b healthy in it and they've been out gathering so I'm not quite sure what they're up to. I did see some of my pollen patty stored in the edges. I'm almost starting to wonder if I should have left these guys in the nuc for a while longer. It would have been easier for them to heat/cool the nuc at least until there was a bit more population.
I figured I should probably find the queen and make sure she hadn't gotten cold and died, or flew the coop. With only 4 frames I thought it would be a cake walk to find her. I even took pictures of both sides of the frames and examined the photos and never did see her. I did find freshly laid eggs and some small larva so I'm pretty sure she's still there. I also think they'll be catching up as there were a few freshly hatched bee's. I couldn't pick out the new ones, but I did see the newly opened caps.
Here's the nameless hive after opening they're definitely keeping busy:
This one was completely foundationless except the frames that came from the nuc and they've done a good job. 3 of the 4 frames are at least half filled in and the queen has laid in the new comb which was really exciting.
In the photo on the right I think you can just see the eggs they're so tiny. The rest of the hive is packed really tightly which is promising for this hive.
I figured since the queen had started laying in the new foundation and they had drawn out a fair amount, its probably time to add another hive body. Now this is where I discovered I don't like deeps. I wanted to follow the process of adding below so they expand normally and while my deep isn't completely full it was heavier than I expected. The other thing that's frustrating is because I had deep nuc's I had to use a deep on each hive and I had planned for one hive to be done with only mediums. Since this was to be the medium hive I slid a medium under the deep, and included 2 frames with foundation for a ladder. I just hope I haven't added it too soon but the bee's didn't seem to complain other than the mass confusion when I was adding the medium.
Also while adding this medium I added some concrete blocks to get the hives up off the ground as I noticed a mud print on one hive which makes me think that either a raccoon visited or a skunk. I didn't see any other signs of the bee's being munched on but I wanted to get them up out of the grass anyway. The plus side is with the screened bottom boards and the hives about a foot off the ground I can peek in on the boxes without having to disturb the bee's which is handy.
The last thing I have to do is figure out when to remove the entrance reducer or to give them a bit more space to get in and out. Anyway that wraps up this over view of my hives, since I only have two I'll have to find something to fill in with otherwise I'll be disturbing my bee's too much or start doing inspections on different days which I may do so I can spend more time in the hives.
One other thing I hadn't thought about, water for the bee's, we live just up the hill from a creek so I assumed the bee's would make use of that. They seem to be a bit lazy, my hose has a slow leak and was keeping the sidewalk a bit damp so they were making use of that. As soon as I fixed it they've discovered I started opening the pool and I've had to fish a couple of the girls out of the pool. I've given them a bucket of water with plenty of rocks in it for them to land on about 4 feet from the hive now I'll have to see if they make use of that or continue to drown themselves. The bucket should get me by until we complete the new pond project we've decided to take on. Once that's done maybe they'll stick to the pond and the creek and stay out of the pool.