News Item: Catching up in the sunshine
(Category: Our bees)
Posted by sally
Saturday 06 July 2013 - 22:40:38

Summer is here at last - thankfully - and the bees are flying well.  The weekend is set fair so we hope to get round all of our remaining colonies today and tomorrow.

No need to look again at G1 in the garden (the swarm that arrived end of May). Now that it has been re-housed in a WBC, it has plenty to be getting on with and lots of room for brood and honey. The two nucs in the garden though were due a check so we went through them before lunch today.

G2, in the small green nuc, was supposed to be raising a queen and indeed we saw eggs on one frame. There were a few cells with multiple eggs but the pattern of egg-laying was concentrated altogether so it's likely to be a new queen just starting to lay. So, we'll leave them alone for a bit and hope they come good. The other nuc, where we moved a queen and bees from Green Lane, was doing very well. The queen, possibly one that goes back to 2010, has laid across every frame in the nuc and clearly needs more room. So, we set up a new brood box, added a further five frames (one starter strip, one drawn comb and three foundation) and re-housed the colony in a WBC.

After lunch it was over to the Hill and the colony over there has done extremely well. When David and the Bee Inspector last looked, there were queen cells about to hatch and, although we didn't see the queen, she is definitely there and has laid in 5 brood frames and 3 halves. Varroa is in check at less than one a day, having benefited from the break in the brood cycle and the brood looks good and healthy. And the honey super is filling nicely too. We added a further super above - a wet one from last season so we're hoping they first clean it up and then use it for more stores.

Over at the Rectory it was a less positive picture. The hive looked as if it had been knocked and was leaning slightly but we straightened it up and inspected the colony. Clearly it has swarmed but the remaining queen has not come good and the colony had no brood or sign of even a virgin queen. The bees were bringing in honey and at least there is no laying worker as yet so we will try and unite the bees with another colony as soon as we can. The super - which had been used as a half brood - was being filled with honey and quite a few frames were capped or partly sealed so we put a clearer board below so that we can remove both boxes easily.

More to do tomorrow but that was a good day's beekeeping.

This news item is from Beesmith
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