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.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Apiary inspection 15/03/2012

My first actual inspection of the new year and as a married man (people will get fed up of me saying that soon, but not me!). This is the first opportunity I've had to write this post as I've been rather busy and only just found time to do the inspection. The weather has been lovely over the past few days so me and my wife went up to the allotment. We took our daughter with us so she could see the chickens in someone else's allotment and because we couldn't find anyone to look after her at short notice; due to this my wife hasn't been able to have a look inside the hive yet this year but there will be plenty of time for that.

I started off by suiting up but decided against using smoke. Unlike last time I visited the hive, this time I actually opened it up to have a good look inside. I started by removing the roof and was shocked to see how much less fondant was in there than last time, the number of Bees must have really increased! After I had removed the next layer which was the crown board I could really see that my Bees have started getting busy. In the super that I left them with overwinter they have started storing honey but not more than a frames worth at the moment. At this stage there was no sign of the Queen however there were signs of new workers and not a drone in sight, all good signs. I then removed the super and started inspecting the brood nest; I was trying to be as quick as possible at this point as I didn't want to disturb them too much more than I already had. The first couple of frames didn't have much in them other than small patches of stored pollen but when I got to the 3rd and 4th I could see how busy the Queen must have been. There was a frame nearly full of brood at varying different levels all the way from eggs to sealed brood and the other frame was half covered in pollen and honey store! Due to the presence of eggs I decided that I must still have a Queen inside so at that point I closed up the hive, anyway they were getting a little frisky at this point and I was very glad to have my suit on! Before closing up I did take a couple of photos which I have included below.

Some excess comb removed from above the brood frames with my hive tool

Literally pouring out of the crownboard!