The club had four hives here in Bridgewater going into the Fall of 2013. The top bar colony that I obtained from a house extraction in the summer of 2013 was lost over the winter so I had three hives to start the spring of 2014. Two of these hives are mediocre to average in strength, but one of them is really thriving. In comparison, in the spring of 2013 we started only with one hive after loosing three over the 2012 winter and relocating two hives to Verona in the summer of 2012. Only two hives were viable in January 2012 when the apiary was relocated from McCormick Farm to Bridgewater.
On April 13, 2014, the most vigorous hive was split in half and three frames were taken from the strongest other hive to start a colony in the observation hive for the Riverfest SVBA exhibit. The third hive was inspected but left unmodified. By April 20, very large queen cells were found on four frames in the queen less large split. Two of these frames were removed to make nuc boxes and the third frame added to the observation hive (which had no queen cells by then). In the past, I have had poor success getting queens mated in this area, so on April 24 I took one of the nucs to a bee club member’s farm in Staunton to increase the chance of successful mating.