I’ve been practicing for the June 4th Field Day. Keeping a close eye on the weather forecast I started two batches of queens in late April. Here are the results from the first batch where I grafted 20 larvae into queen cells. I thought the swarm box bees had started all twenty (20), but the finishing hive only ended up capping 9 of the cells and they didn't look pretty! I don’t know if its my technique or maybe the cool weather is having a negative influence. Typically northern beekeepers do not try queen grafting until mid May. Right now the queen cells are maturing in the incubator. Early next week I will be placing the mature cells into nucs. I hope the cool weather has not killed them.
Among other things to be demonstrated for the Field Day we will have three hives set up with sticky boards. The primary reason is to expose club members to the use of sticky boards to monitor varroa mite numbers. We will compare the mite drop of two hives; one with Russian bees and the second with Carniolans. Then we will also demonstrate use of a oxalic vaporizer in the third hive. I will report on the results several days later.