from Jacqui and me to this record of our experiences as new beekeepers in The Marches.

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Monday, 14 June 2010

latest inspection

Sunny day last Saturday so after attending a coffee morning at Kinton Farm I checked the hives. Number 1 has made good progress filling the second super, the first is well filled with honey much of which is capped so we shall at least have some honey this season. Did not look into this brood because new queen will only just have started laying new brood and I don't want to disturb. I have read that disruption too early can cause the workers to "ball" and thereby kill the queen. Lots of pollen being taken in and lots of bees so I am hopeful for this colony.
Hive 2 has no brood or eggs at all so it is queenless. This will be fatal for the colony unless I take action because the old workers will simply die out without being replaced. I have to decide whether a] to let them continue to add honey until they die out, or b]to merge them with another stronger colony where they can add to the honey harvest, or c] introduce a frame of new brood in the hope that they will raise a new queen.
Hive 3 has been adding to the honey in the supers. A quick look at one of the brood frames in the bottom box revealed uncapped larvae. This means I have a new laying queen in this hive. I now wait to see if she is productive enough to build up a strong colony for the winter.
Hope the young woodpecker pictured on Sunday watching mum on our feeder doesn't learn how to get at honey in the hive this winter. They can do terrible damage so I shall have to surround the hives with wire netting as a precaution.

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