I have mixed emotions regarding my first bee hives. I’m glad, first off, that I followed my local experts advice to get two hives, not just one, so I can compare how one hive is doing vs the other. My two hives are night and day different.
The short hive has been slow and lethargic and started out with a few hive beetles. It’s been a work in diligence to get rid of the hive beetles and determine what else I can do to help that hive grow. While I understand the Italian honey bees are more “gentle” than other bees, they’ve started out so docile that tending the hive without a hat and veil and wearing shorts without any issue. On advice from a local beekeeper, I’ve tightened up the hive and started feeding them again with a simple syrup (sugar & water) solution.
The results over the last few days have included four new queen cups, but the bees have started moving from the original five nuc frames onto another one, and they are actually starting to build out the wax on the sixth frame. Whew! That’s at least progress. The decision on the table at this point is whether or not I should replace the queen.