I spent the last 2 days working all day with Larry and Janice Tate on grafting, shaking bees, making nucs, making mating nucs, moving hives, moving queen cells, making splits and doing a lot of labor intensive work.
It has paid off in the Tates paying me with bees. I now have my second set that are on the back porch! They are the half sisters to the ones I already had. Talk about your calm bees. No smoke or gloves needed! They are awesome bees. We will be grafting from them to get queens and selecting drones for Instrumental Insemination on other future queens. We do NOT want to lose these lines, as all you need is a veil to work them (keep the random bee from flying into your hair or face).
They were a little low in numbers, so we took some of his mating nuc bees that had been queenless for 24 hours and I am adding them with the news paper method. You take the bees you want to add and place them over a newspaper sheet wetted with sugar water and a few small slits in it and close them in completley. They get aclimated to the new queen and the new bees as they slowly chew through the news paper. They will remove most of it in a few days.
I need to seal the copper top on that hive with urethane sealant after I clean it as I want this one to remain copper. No oxidation or paint on this one.
I will have pics soon.