Wow- what a doozy of a spring and now fire….
The initial spring weather which included windy and very dry conditions altered our rearing schedule and also our nuc schedule. Everything has been delayed due to the weather- windy conditions are not condusive to rearing queens, or better put, allowing them to mate. So we had to spread out our initial rearing schedule to accomodate the winds- smaller batches spread apart in the hopes that our queens wouldn’t all be blown off course. We are finally getting back on track for queen orders but are a couple of weeks behind- catching up steadily.
The dry conditions inhibited nectar flow which in turn inhibits the rate and growth of hives. Our larger girls have been working steadily- maininting and even building new comb for top bars- albeit slowly.
We had originally planned to pull top bar combs and add a ripe grafted queen cell from our breeders for them to nurture their own queen. However, due to the windy conditions, and slow growth rate of the fresh top bar comb, we have altered our process to now pulling top bar combs and adding a mated queen from our other Langstroth mating nuclei.
Of course we had hoped that all of this would’ve occured last month sometime- but Mother Nature has indeed chauffeured us into new directions- ones which we are new to and are trying to navigate as best as possible given the curves.
We will be pulling what top bar combs our girls have pulled thus far- this week (July 4th) and then adding mated queens from our batch that is slated to be ready towards the end of the week. At that time, I will call to schedule pick ups for top bar orders starting with the week of July 11th.
We do not know how many exactly we can fill this season. If you have a top bar nuc order with us that we are unable to fill this season, we are offering the alternative of a Langstroth nuc that can be modified (shake bees into box, cut Langstroth frames in half, screw into your own bars, Add modified “frames” to your top bar box, then rotate out the starter halves as the bees begin to build and make their own comb on your own bars).
Other options include waiting until next season or cancelling and requesting a refund.
We truly apologize for the delay. We feel comfortable selling nucs through June and into early July with the anticipated monsoon rains to revive the landscape and promote the nectar flow for hive buildup and establishment for overwintering.
Will this truly occur this season?- we are unsure, as everyone else is with the weather. However, we are starting to get rain and hopefully the fire and smoke dangers will abate for those in areas affected. We highly recommend offering supplemental feed initially to all new hives/nuclei such that they have adequate energy and food to pull new comb needed for laying their brood and storing their forage. Once they have established their comb, then they can begin to fill the cells with naturally foraged nectar and pollens for their sustenance and for their impending winter food stores.
We are actually right across the valley from the Los Alamos fire. We have had smoke directly blown towards our area for the past week. We pray and hope that the authorities can contain and look to extinguish the fires promptly- for everyone’s sake, including everyone’s bees.
Questions on top bar nuc orders call us at
Tel: 505/689-1287. This is our home/office line. We are out and about checking bees in our home yard and in neighboring apiaries, so leave a message or try email- which is actually easier for us to respond to during our midnight oil burning hours
We AND our bees thank you for your patience and support- M & M/ ZQB