Archive for April, 2010

Bee Inspection 26th April

April 29, 2010

The FERA Seasonal Bee Inspector visited the Apiary on Tuesday to carry out a routine disease inspection, we went through each hive shaking off the bees from each frame in turn and checking for foul brood. Bee Base holds records of all the apiaries in an area from which a random selection is made for a visit, it was the turn of the association apiary today.

We were able to combine the opening of each hive with the weekly routine inspection. Hive 2 is increasing well and has built up good stores, we were able to remove the empty feeder. Hive 5 which is in the process of a Bailey comb change had 4 frames of brood on the new brood frames but the queen was elusive so there is still no Queen Excluder between the brood boxes. Hive 7 where the queen is in her third year (marked red and clipped) is not increasing the size of the brood, it has been 5 frames for the last three visits, it may be the queen is on her way out.

Today’s images show the Bee Inspector at work and a frame showing a perfect oval of same age larvae, you can just pick out the younger larvae around the oval.

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Hive Record Card

April 18, 2010

Several people have asked about Hive Record Cards, attached is the master of the current one we are using in the Association Apiary.

MBBKA Hive Card 2010 v2.pdf

Apiary Visit 18th April

April 18, 2010

With the weather over the last week and especially this weekend being sunny there were great expectations of change since the last apiary inspection.

Hive 2 had some dead bees outside the hive and on the hive floor, stores were still low and the bee population although over 9 frames was low on each frame. There were a couple of bees with deformed wing on the mesh floor but those on the comb seemed fine, plus there were significant amount of chalk brood, indicating chilled brood which would stack up with the dispersed bees across the brood comb. The comb needs changing in this hive and the original plan was to carry out an artificial swarm once the colony had built up in order to make increase, may need to reconsider the plan. Left feed on this hive, cleared dead bees from in front of hive, changed floor and will monitor to see if things change.

The other two hives were a better story. We are carrying out a bailey comb change on hive 5 and the bees are beginning to draw out the comb in the new brood chamber. Hive 7 now has sufficient stores and number of bees have increased so we will continue with the plane to artificial swarm this colony to make increase sometime in the near future.

Apiary Opening 11th April

April 12, 2010

Thank you to everyone who turned up to help with the opening of the apiary. The production line on frame making was outstanding! With so many helping hands we were able to complete the job list in double quick time.

It was a shame that the sun did not turn up, although it did warm up sufficiently after the BBQ for us to open up one hive for inspection and to initiate a Bailey comb change on a second hive (which employed the fresh brood frames made up earlier).

Although there is still a lot of pollen being taken into each hive there is little nectar flow so we have a gallon of syrup in a contact feeder on each hive. We need to build up the colonies so as to make increase and cover the winter loses. Let’s hope the weather improves soon and we can get back to normal.

Apiary Visit 4th April

April 4, 2010

The weather is still overcast and damp with a cold wind, no bees flying. If this weather continues we will not be able to get any cars onto the field for the opening of the Apiary next Sunday.

The varroa boards were removed in order to take the “Spring” varroa drop count. Armed with a magnifying glass we scanned each board and then as a double check scraped the detritis into a jar, added Methylated Spirit stirred and counted the varroa that floated to the surface. Dividing the varroa count by the number of days the boards were in place (9 days) gave us the daily drop count, at this time of year it should ideally be less than 2. Hives 5 and 7 gave a count of less than 1 and Hive 2 a count of 3.

Fera recommend we consider employ drone brood removal for low infestations so we will need to set this up for Hive 2 when we carry out our Spring inspection.