Again another typically (for this year) cold May day driven by the Northerly wind, which again as the wind died down in the evening gave us the opportunity of a training session in the apiary. Hives 2 and 7 had little change from last week, the queens were spotted in each and there were sufficient stores to support the colonies through the continuing cold stretch.
Last week we split Hive 5 into two and were unsure as to which hive the queen had ended up in, it turned out to be the Nucleus on stand 4. The queen was spotted and marked, all stages of brood were identified including fresh eggs and the feed topped up. Hive 5 still had a lot of bees and had produced queen cells on two frames, they were calm and well behaved as can be seen in this week’s images. By the next visit the queen cells will have been capped and a view will need to be taken as to the way forward; split colony again, remove some cells and rear queens or just tear down the extras.
Also included is a nice picture of a swarm we helped collect this week, the swarm was a cast, much smaller than the prime swarm which would have occurred 8 days previously. There were 6 more sealed queen cells within the parent colony, each of which could have created another cast swarm dramatically reducing the colony population. In tearing down one of the queen cells the virgin queen emerged, quickly captured and passed on to a fellow Beekeeper who had a queen less colony. It is exactly with this in mind that we must decide what to do with Queen Cells in Hive 5 before the queens emerge.