Thursday, 12 April 2012

Hive Check 11 April 2012

After days of fretting about the rain we went ahead as planned and its stayed fine for us (and the rest of the afternoon). The terrace was its normal balmy self while a bumper number of helpers, Lynsey, Clara, Bonnie, Fiona and Joseph attended.

The bees have increased in number dramatically this week and although they still refuse to move onto the 2 outer frames (maybe due to temperature as these frames may be cooler) they have been building comb free style.We spotted the queen, eggs and LOTS of brood, drone too (see the domed cells in the photograph)

There were 2 play cups; one had liquid in the bottom which might indicate a queen cell with royal jelly. We left it and will check carefully to see if it develops into a full queen cell next week. If it does we'll have to take the decision whether to remove it or create our second colony. If we do it may reduce our honey yield this year, so some decision making to be done this week. As the bees numbers are swelling we put on a 'super' separated from the brood box by a queen excluder. This is a fine metal grill that will allow the worker bees to pass and store honey but will not allow the queen through to lay eggs. This will ensure that we can extract honey without damage to eggs. This is an exciting development in our colony! Only 5 varroa in the last 2 weeks so their health is on target too. Many thanks to Fiona for the photos

1 comment:

  1. How exciting! I did think the aim was to get another colony going - we have the extra plinth, but I can see the enjoyment of harvesting honey this year.
    If we did remove the queen cell/jelly and left it another year would there be less of an effect on the honey yield?

    Perhaps we should put the life of the queen ahead of our bellies!?

    Best wishes, Elise