The two walk away Nucs that Luke and I worked so hard on last weekend were demolished by either a bear or a raccoon (I assume raccoon because the larger hives were untouched). I am heart broken looking over the broken boxes and devoured frames of honey, brood and larva. A small huddle of bees remained on two of the frames trying to clean up some of the mess of dead eggs and larva that were left to freeze over night without the nuc for protection.
So now we are left with a small bundle of bees that need to be given more resources and a queen. I told Luke I could not handle another loss and that I did not want to continue to steal eggs and larva from my two large and healthy hives. He agreed and will be bringing me over some of his frames out of one of his five hives as well as a new Sakatraz queen. This will be a first for us and eventually our apiaries will be mutts but that to me is not necessarily a bad thing as hopefully we get the best out of all of our bee breeds. I think I like the size and look of the Kona’s (easy to spot their queens) but the temperament of my Italians best.
Even though finding the broken nucs and dead bees ruined most of my day I ended it by painting the accent flowers on my two new hives while watching the beautiful sunset. I am by no means a professional artist but I did try my best to make them look attractive and distinct to help lessen the bee drift from one hive to the next since the hives are all the same base color. I only took a photo of the first one unfortunately, but you will see the other one in future posts once I have requeened the nuc.