A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Apiary inspection 09/07/2011

I did a quick inspection today as the weather decided to be nice, rather than the rain we have had all week. There wasn't anyone available to look after our baby so Steph stayed at home for this one.

Upon arrival at the allotment I did a quick visual check of the apiary. There was plenty of Bees entering and exiting the hive, some could be seen with their pollen baskets full. Next I lit the smoker and then got suited up.

When I opened the hive I was hoping to see that the Bees had started to draw out the foundation in the supers, ready to start storing honey. Unfortunately this wasn't the case; in the super there were about 5 Bees just wondering around! I removed the super and the Queen excluder and started to check on the brood chamber. This was a different story, it was quite full of Bees!

I started by removing the first frame and checking for food. The first frame had plenty of stores on it but no brood, there was small amounts of pollen present also. The next frame had a few eggs present but mainly stored food. The next 5 frames I checked were full of brood and I even saw her majesty on one of them. I did notice a lot of drone brood on the underside of one frame but at the course I was advised this is normal so will just keep an eye in it and make sure it doesn't get any worse; the main thing is that there is evidence the Queen is laying worker brood. On the last couple of frames I checked there was plenty of stored pollen.

As I was doing the inspection I tried to remove as much comb that was out of place as I could, there was a fair bit below the Queen excluder. After I'd checked all the frames I replaced all the hive parts and left the apiary.

When I returned to my car I had a closer look at some of the excess comb I had removed and noticed there were a couple of eggs in there. The eggs are tiny but can be seen fairly clearly in the photo