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Our Apiary – A Lot Going On.

Sunday 9th June – A lot going on - successes and failures

Hive 1: We have decided there is no Queen in this colony. Possibly during our manipulations last week, when we brushed the bees off into one box, she might have got
misplaced or she was out on a mating flight and we disturbed her return. Luckily, in one of the other colonies there were 2 queen cells on one frame surplus to requirements, one capped and one charged, so we put the frame in. If they are queenless hopefully this will give them a chance to keep the colony going.

In Hive 2 (CBPV hive): This is building up still but slowly.

Hive 3, 3a and the Nuc: Last week we had a situation where all 3 could have a virgin Queen. This week in Hive 3a we found a Queen and eggs so we marked her. You need to make sure a Queen is mated and laying before marking her. Otherwise this could have repercussions on a mating flight.

The pictures above show the stages in trapping the queen. Once trapped in the tube the plunger is pushed up to get her close to the grid at the top of the cage.

Once trapped at the top of the cage she was marked and then, when her paint had dried, released back on to the frame from which she came.

And there she is back on the frame with a neat yellow spot. Finding her next time should be a lot easier.

In the other 2 hives no sign of a Queen or eggs. So, one of our ‘splits’ has worked, the other 2 still pending. You can easily miss a virgin, they are thinner and move very quickly. So, if that is still the situation next week, we may think about uniting them with the queen-right hive.

In the WBC 1 we found the Queen and plenty of eggs. Luckily last week when we split the hive we put in some frames with drawn comb so she was able to keep on laying. Doing an artificial swarm means you leave the parent hive with the Queen and the foragers so the colony has lost the younger bees who are the wax makers. Consequently if you leave them with just foundation this could take a while for them to draw it out.

In WBC 2 which was the ‘split’, we found they had drawn out more queen cells, quite a few capped but none torn down so no Queen had emerged. We destroyed all the queen cells except 2 capped ones.

So….we are still waiting to see if some of our splits have worked.

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