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, 8 May 2012

Apiary Inspection 08/05/2012

Today after work I visited the Bees and did a good inspection of both hives. When I got to the apiary the first thing I did was watch the Bees coming and going for a few minutes. I could see Bees returning from the nearby oil seed rape fields loaded up with pollen. When I'd got the smoker lit and I had suited up I dived into the first hive.

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The hive had still got a queen excluder under the brood chamber that was put in place to stop Queen Bee-atrix from absconding. My first job was to remove this then place the whole hive onto my newly constructed hive stand. When I started working through the hive I was really lucky in that the Queen was on the first frame I looked at (the first couple of frames aren't fully drawn out yet so I didn't have a proper look at them). There were eggs and brood of all levels present in the hive. As this hive seems to be doing well I didn't spend too much time on it and did a quick inspection. One thing that I noted was that on one of the last frames the Bees had made some odd looking comb. It's hard to describe what it looked like and I will try for a photo next time. The comb was kind of bent around and overlapped, this may cause a problem later as the Queen may be able to hide in the flap created. I may have to remove this odd shaped comb at some time! When I was happy that I'd done all I could in the hive I filled up the frame feeder with syrup and put the hive back together with a extra super so the Bees have more room to start expanding.

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Onto my original hive. This is the hive that had the Queen removed and last time I was at the hive there were Queen cells. By now the Queen cells should have hatched and any day now the Queen should be doing her mating flight. When I opened the hive I was impressed with the amount of Bees but there was no brood or eggs which to be honest was expected. One thing that did shock me was that there was still Queen cells present so I took a few photos of them. The only thing I can think of is that the Queen has already hatched and killed the Queens in the other cells, but the worker Bees haven't had time to remove the dead Queen cells. I did see 2 Queen cells that were empty. Fingers crossed that next time I visit there will be eggs. The next new task for me then would be to try to mark the new Queen to make her easy to see. Usually Queens are marked a different colour each year but as I am colour blind I am going to just use white to begin with. In the hive there was lots of stored nectar and hopefully they will start storing in the supers as soon as eggs are being laid.

Below are the pictures of the Queen cells I took.


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A Queen cell

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2 Queen cells and a few drones visible as well


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Busy busy Bees!