Rogue Farms knows bees and will soon be building more nucs to add more colonies to increase honey production.
Nuc is beekeeping slang for nucleus, a small group of workers, drones, a new queen and a mini-hive with enough food and brood to get them started on becoming their own colony.
Beekeepers buy nucs to add more colonies and increase honey production. Or they may build a nuc from one of their current colonies. This splits the hive and prevents swarming.
Either way, the key to a successful nuc is making sure the new queen gets along with the workers before she’s introduced. A special device, called a queen excluder, separates the queen from the rest of the hive until it’s clear that everyone is getting along.
– The workers are feeding the new queen through the excluder.
– The workers are trying to kill the new queen – also known as balling the queen.
– The workers are producing emergency queen cells, which means they’ve rejected the new queen and want to produce one of their own.
Whether a nuc is a success or a failure should be obvious in about eight days. After that it’s okay to remove the excluder. And then after about a month, the new colony can be moved out of the mini-hive and into a regular one and begin foraging and producing honey.
The GYO hops at the Rogue Farms hopyard in Independence are ready for harvest, and you know what that means: Wet Hop Ale. Freedom Hops were hand picked by Rogue Brewmaster John Maier this week. A 98 minute drive to our brewery in Newport, Oregon later, those still wet hops were added to the brew kettle to make Wet Hop Ale. Keep your eye out for it in the coming weeks!
Rogue Brewmaster John Maier inspecting the hops at the Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence, OR.
Hand-picking the Freedom Hops.
98 minutes later: pitching the wet hops into the brew kettle at the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon
The finished product.
Stay tuned on updates on our Dream Rye Harvest at the Rogue Farm in Independence, Oregon- it’ll happen any day now!
Rogue Beekeeper Josh re-queened some of our hives recently. He discovered some of the hives didn’t have queens and others had queens that were failing to show proper leadership.
The bottom line as far as we’re concerned – not enough honey.
So change was needed. So Josh and his friend Andy headed out to the hives and did what had to be done.
Step One: Josh looks for the old queen. When he finds her, she is summarily dispatched with a quick pinch.
Step Two: The new Queen arrives in a small cage.
Step Three: The cage is inserted into the hive.
Step Four: The worker bees nibble away at a sugar plug that blocks the entrance to the cage. It takes a few days for the bees to eat their way through. This gives them time to adapt to the new queen.
Have you been to the farm lately to check out how our Dream pumpkins are doing? If not, check out the below photos! Once ready for harvest in late September or October they’ll be turned into our Chatoe Pumpkin Patch Ale.