Saturday, 23 May 2020

District Apiary, Hive 4

Hive 4 is a swarm that was bought over to the the district apiary last year by our chairman. they were bought over in a five frame nuc where they stayed for a few weeks before being transferred into a national wooden hive. The queen is no marked and was not spotted throughout the inspection but evidence that she was present and well is seen throughout the photos.

Lid removed and placed upside down beside the hive so
crown board/super/queen excluder can be placed down
on top and not touch the floor.

super frame

a couple of frames checked in the super to see
how well the honey stores are doing.

super removed to show the wire, wooden framed
queen excluder.

queen excluder checked for the queen before
being gently placed on top of the super.

The bees were of a good temperament but naturally
came up to see what was going on with their home.

A puff of smoke to clear the frames of bees
to make handling easier.

Here you can see larvae which I have uncapped as I have
removed the queen excluder. This hive apparently has
some top bee space which I didn't realise when I put the
excluder on...needless to say it was replaced the other
way up and the brood cleared away!!

Still some frames in the brood chamber which
haven't been drawn out.

Plenty of stores going in.

The bees were very calm.

A few play cups on some of the comb but
luckily none were 'charged'.

Plenty of capped brood in the lovely pattern
we expect to see on the frames.

A little meeting going on!!

Can you spot the drone brood??

Capped brood in the middle and outer of the frame
with eggs and larvae in between

Not empty cells....full of eggs!

Notice how in the centre of the frame its a lot darker?
This is where eggs have continually been laid. Honey
does not 'taint' the cells like moulting larvae do!

A good proportion of drone to worker brood.

Notice the blanking board laid on top of the hive?
I do this to keep the part of the hive I'm not inspecting
dark which keeps the bees down inside the hive making
it easier to handle the frames without possibly causing
 them harm.

Perfect brood pattern.

Happily going about their business.

Last frame to inspect before closing up.
Queen wasn't seen but with eggs and larvae in all stages
we know she is there and healthy. No queen cells found.
After this inspection the weather turned cold for a while halting inspections. When it did finally warm up I had work commitments so it was a couple of days before I got to the hives. That took us to to two weeks which of course is far too long...and've guessed it...lovely capped queen cells in the hive...and they have very possibly swarmed.

I did a full inspection...picked out the best looking queen cell and knocked the others sign of the queen and equally no newly laid eggs which is a good indicator that the swarm as already happened.

so I shut the colony up and will now leave them for at least three weeks to give the queen time to hatch out and mate before inspecting again.