Thanks to a freak warm June day (well at least for 2012!) we was able to get back into the bees on Saturday. Things have improved somewhat in just a week. My only regret is that we’ve not had enough time to shoot stills and video during these inspections. Hopefully this will improve as time goes on.
This swarm is doing well – and we managed to spot our queen and marked her (white). We didn’t clip her as we want to see how she develops but the bees were calm, she had a good laying pattern across four frames and there was plenty of stores and pollen. Her mother was a cracking layer so hopefully this colony will rapidly expand and bring in some honey for us – but nothing as yet in the super we added last week.
Still very few bees and no sign of eggs or the newly born queen that we dropped in there last week so I think she met an untimely end. She could of course have been out on a mating flight but I have my doubts. The frame of eggs we dropped in last week were looking OK with most capped – so we quickly shut this one down and hope the queen was hiding or out putting Drones to the sword! Plenty of stores in the brood chamber – which will hopefully prove useful even if the hive fails.
No eggs, no queen – but plenty of stores. Bees were a bit grumpy too – only highlighting their queen-less state. They had almost filled and partly capped two supers now so I added another. See the Hive 4 report though as its not all doom and gloom.
Eggs and new queen spotted and marked. She had a lovely colour to her with very defined stripes. She had laid up on about 2 frames. There was also a couple of capped queen cells in there – which was a little odd as you’d expect the queen to have ripped those down or have swarmed herself once they’d been capped. However – the weather was very poor up until our inspection so maybe (just maybe) we had caught them at the right moment. Anyway, took that frame out and put it into hive 3 in the hope that one hatches and makes that colony queen-right. Took down all the old queen cells.
There is still no sign of a break in the weather but it can’t go on like this much longer…. can it?!!