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.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Apiary inspection 02/08/2011

This inspection both me and Steph went as my sister was babysitting. As Steph was a little more hands on with this inspection I'm letting her write the bulk of this post. I will be back at the end with the varroa count.

There's a change in author this week! I am very scared of bees, but I am facing my fear. Slowly, I am getting a little braver. I started off near to the closed hive without a suit, but standing very close to the apiary door so I could make a quick getaway should I panic. Next, I put my suit on and went right into the apiary while the hive was open, and Morley did the full inspection. And this time with a suit on I actually held a couple of frames! The rest of the time I play role of paparazzi to the bees. Apparently I'm doing a full inspection (under supervision) next time we can get a babysitter... So this is to prove that I listen to my other half and pay attention when he talks about his buzzing girls (and few boys)!

The roof of the hive and the two supers were removed to expose the Queen excluder, which can be seen above. The bees can be seen building foundation in the wrong place, and most of this was removed.

The first frame in the brood chamber to be examined; the damaged area is where the dummy board had stuck to the stores, and it looks like the bees set to repairing the damage immediately. There are capped stores to be seen at the top of the frame.

Me, inspecting a frame. It was heavy and covered in bees, and also had many cells of larva. It was the first time I'd been able to clearly see the babies. 

Me, relieved that I did it! It wasn't as bad as I expected. In fact it felt safer to hold the frame than stand next to the open hive with individuals buzzing around my head!

Handing over to the expert for the really busy centre frames. Next time...

A busy centre frame; Queen Beeatrix is in the middle to the left.

Me again! This time checking out a super frame. No problem after doing the one absolutley covered in bees before!

A super frame, almost fully capped, full of honey. It was extremely heavy! Thanks ladies :-) Can't wait to sample it!
 And now for the technical bit...

Thanks for that Steph. Also mention that I added a wasp trap to the allotment; this is basically a large jam jar with some diluted jam in, then a wasp size hole in the lid. Apparently this will trap lots of wasps without harming the bees. I'll try to get a photo of it for next time.

 When we got home I got onto counting the varroa mites within the debris. I found 21 mites which is 7 more than last week, however I am still not worried as the estimated amount in the hive is still well below the danger level. Also I have not seen any sign of varroa related disease.

Average Daily Mite Fall = 3.0 varroa mites
Estimated number of adult varroa mites in the colony = 120
Treatment is recommended in about 9 month(s) time (counting from day of first monitoring).