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.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Apiary Inspection 25/05/2012

After all the rubbish weather we've had in Wakefield this May the last few days have been a really refreshing change, the weather has been absolutely smashing! For nearly a week now we have had glorious sunshine and I have been desperate to get to my apiary and see how my hives are doing, but have been stuck doing the late shift at work; this Friday was my first day off and as luck would be the weather was still great so I did my inspection.

When I got to the apiary I got suited up and just watched the Bees for a few minutes; there was lots of bees returning with pollen and nectar from both hives. So far so good. With the weather being so nice there would be a much reduced number of Bees in the hive as they are out foraging; due to this I decided to be brave and didn't use smoke. The first hive I went into was my original hive which had queen cells in it last time I checked. I was hoping to find the queen and mark her so I would be able to find her easier in the future. Within a couple of frames my hopes where raised when I could see eggs in the cells but a second later they were dashed slightly as I noticed some of the cells had multiple eggs in them. More than one egg in a cell can be a sign of worker Bees laying but sometimes newly mated queens lay more than one egg until they get used to laying. Also the eggs were right at the bottom of the cells which is also encouraging as laying workers will lay at the side of the cell as their abdomens aren't as long. I continued searching but was unable to find the queen. There was plenty of honey stored in the brood area and lots of pollen as well, they have even started storing some honey in the supers.

The second hive was a lot simpler. I found the queen in the second frame so there was no concerns. The hive had plenty of stores and also plenty of room to expand into the new frames. All in all I was very happy with the progress of this hive. When I moved onto the super I had a very pleasant surprise, they had started storing loads of honey and some of it looked like they where about to start capping it. This means I could be harvesting some honey very soon! As the majority of the honey will probably be from oil seed rape flower I will have to hurry up with extracting the honey as oil seed rape honey has a tendency to set solid in the cells! Hopefully that won't happen but if it does I'll just have to scrape it all out and maybe dissolve it in water to make mead!