Adding the Artificial Swarm to Phoenix

What happened in the apiary this weekend must have surly come as a surprise to the queen and colony in the Phoenix hive, in both shock and relief (respectively).

The Phoenix hive has had two months to pull itself together, make a new queen and get busy drawing frames and storing nectar/pollen.

You may remember a few weeks ago I performed an artificial swarm on the Purple/White hive to keep it from swarming. It worked, and what I had as a by-product was an extra nuc with my very prolific, hygienic queen.

I figured since the Phoenix hive wasn't going to get themselves into gear, I'd better give them a shot of adrenalin (so to speak) if they were going to have a chance at drawing frames and prepping to make it through next winter.

Saturday I opened the hive and found the queen. She was on a frame of open cells just walking around. She wasn't laying any eggs (at least not while I was standing there) and only had 1 or 2 attendants with her. I figured she probably wasn't mated  as well as she could have been a few weeks ago.

I reached in with my hive tool and smashed her (I'm sure that had to be a shocking experience for the queen).

I left the colony alone for 24 hours and on Sunday I opened them back up and introduced the nuc (and with it my prolific hygienic queen) via the newspaper combine method. Giving this struggling hive a couple of frames of bees and a better queen was the relief I'm sure they were looking for.

I wonder if they like Perls Before Swine as much as I do? It's a shame I didn't have this particular Perls comic, that would have been perfect!

I left the nuc box and lid propped against the hive for the stragglers to find their way in.

I'll check in a few days and make sure they chewed through the newspaper and combined with each other, then I'll leave them alone for quite a while and see what they decide to do.

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