The week started very early Monday morning with the collection of an aggressive colony from a members apiary, on arrival at the Association Apiary the colony was split in two and located in two hives away the main area. The idea of splitting the colony was to reduce the number of bees and to get them to concentrate on sorting themselves out rather than bothering visitors to the apiary. On Thursday we checked the colonies; the queenright colony had calmed down and was well established with all stages of brood, again the queenless colony was calmer and was busy creating queen cells, next week we will tear down the excess cells.
The apiary training session the previous week had resulted in an Artificial Swarm on Hive 2 and the splitting of Hive 4 in two as there were several frames with sealed queen cells. The principle objective of this week’s practical session was to ensure that we had 5 queenright colonies for the BBKA Basic Examination on Saturday. Our banker Hive 2 had swarmed and thus become queenless, Hive 6 looks to be diseased and Hive 5 had not been examined for three weeks due to there being a queen cell.
The new queen in Hive 8 has settled in well and made a good queenright colony, Hives 7 and 3 continue to be stable and good colonies, luckily Hive 1 which was a the old colony from Hive 2 in its original Artificial Swarm now has a producing queen and the colony is stable with all stages of brood. So a bit depressed we ended up with only 4 queenright colonies.
To cut a long story short, on Friday in the drizzle we quickly checked colony 5 saw the queen and all stages of brood, which meant that we had the 5 colonies for the exam on Saturday. By all accounts the examination went smoothly and all colonies were on best behaviour.
So to summarise at the apiary we now have 12 association hives 7 queenright (one of which is poorly), 5 with various stages of new queens and 4 members hives, let’s hope this week is a bit quieter!