Two of the nucs were made from some of my multi-year survivor stock. I let the queens mate locally and they are both laying well. The other two nucs were made with queen cells from Jeff Eckel of Instar Apiaries. Jeff has been raising queens in Philly for the past few years. I got two queen cells from him and installed them in queenless nucs that I had prepared. These queen cells were special - they were from a "Purdue ankle-biter" breeder queen. These bees have been bred with a special hygienic behavior, they bite the legs of varroa mites off, which kills the mites (click the Purdue link to see pictures of the mites with their itty bitty legs bitten off). Both queens mated despite our wet and cool May and they are both laying strong. Here are a couple of different views of the nuc yard, including into Center City.
|Comcast Center and Tower in the distance|
Climbing out of the window to get to my rooftop hives is a bit of a pain (actually more of a pain every year!), but having these mini hives out there is relatively manageable because at least I didn't have to haul full size boxes out of the window. I plan on moving these to my other yards when it is time to put them in full size hives (well, maybe I will keep one out there for my viewing pleasure!).