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, 26 June 2013

Apiary Visit - Queen and Queen Cell

After work today I visited my apiary to check on the Bees and see how my nucleus hive was getting on. Upon arrival at the land I was greeted by my Dad and Brother-in-law working hard at the land. My Brother-in-law was busy wrestling with some more clay in the ground and I'm not sure what my Dad was doing but he was rather sweaty. I had a quick chat with them then lit my smoker ready to get into the hives.

The first hive I inspected was the nucleus hive which I made last Wednesday. I gave it a really small puff of smoke and opened it up. Within the second frame I saw what I was hoping to see which was a Queen cell dangling off the face of one of the combs. As this cell that I saw was already capped it must be at least 8 days old which means in just over a week she should hatch and then with some good weather do her maiden flight and get mated with drones.

Queen Cell
Queen Cell

Next was the main hive and to start with I checked the super I put on last week for any honey. At the moment there is no honey in there but under the Queen excluder in the half brood box below there about 3 frames almost absolutely full of honey and also mostly capped. This is the honey that I will be leaving them as stores for a couple of reasons. Firstly they worked hard for it so they deserve it and secondly as there has already been brood raised in the cells it may taint the honey. The honey in the super is on a combination of drawn out clean frames and foundation only frames so will be clean for when they start filling it with honey.

When I moved onto the main brood chamber I was keeping an eye out for the Queen and any signs of Queen cells. Within a few cells I had found everything I needed to find but not what I wanted to see; I needed to see eggs, pollen and larva but I wanted to see the Queen! After a couple more frames I was rewarded with a sight of Her Majesty!

Queen Bee

When I had finished the inspection I put the hive together and went over to help my Dad move some equipment around the land. We moved a large storage box to a corner and when we got there we saw a frog. Unfortunately it was a rather camera shy little beast and kept jumping away before I got a decent picture of it but you can just see it in the below picture.


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