Well my wonderful mentor from Orange, NSW has come and gone, and now I am officially a beekeeper. The excitement preceding his arrival was almost unbearable. He arrived with the five frame nuc, some wax foundation and bit and pieces of tools to help me.
We set about inspecting my property around the house – a modest yard with a few options – in the end we found the perfect spot against a north facing wall that will get sun year round and will be good and warm for them during winter.
We then popped into our workshop and set about popping in a wax foundation in one frame – kept in tight by fishing line from my dads old collection. It is a thick and brown line (not the thin invisible line you’d think). We then did another couple of frames with just a little bit of wax hanging down from the top to start the bees off for some natural comb. Normally you would use fuse type wire for this – but I didn’t have any and he said thick fishing line would be fine. The extra sheets of wax foundation is to be kept in baking paper and newspaper stored flat.
Then it was show time – we lit the smoker (with some pine needles and a bit of hessian coffee sack from mentor’s local cafe friend in Orange.) Unpacked the nuc, located the queen and popped the frames in. The order of frames was interesting. We put the new wax foundation empty frame in the middle. Then put the Nuc frames in either side – then put the wax strip empty frames at the edges for them to build out on. We didn’t find any drones however, so I’m to check back in on the hive in 5 days to see if babies are being layed, and if not – mentor will come back with a frame with drones from another hive he has going.