Tuesday, 27 April 2010
The season starts
Thanks to warm days, blossom/pollen on the Bullace Birch and Alder, the bees have been very busy. The hive over-wintered with a super on top of a brood box, no queen excluder. On Sunday 11th April I examined the hive. Lots of bees present. The super contained plenty of honey stores and there was some capped brood at the bottom of the middle frames. Between the super and brood box a small quantity of brace comb had been built with some capped drone cells. The main brood box was well filled with brood both capped and uncapped. Decided to move the super to the bottom. Placed the brood box on top, then queen excluder with a super of drawn comb over that. The object is to give space for the bees to bring in honey without limiting the brood space for the laying queen. Hopefully this will discourage early swarming. The pic shows one of the super frames with capped and uncapped honey. Second pic shows some drone larvae that were exposed and removed.
On Sunday 18th I carried out the first full inspection of the year examining all frames. Didn't spot the queen but not surprising as there were a lot of bees in residence. The new super on top is filing nicely with honey. All seemed to be well with the brood so left well alone.
Inspection on 26th April revealed one play cell but otherwise nothing of note. Honey stores gradually improving. I shall have to keep an eye on the play cell in case it is built into a queen cell.