Colony Inspection – 29th June

This was the day I decided to make up the nucs ahead of the 3 Buckfast queens coming in on the 30th.

Didn’ t go to plan as the bees were really ratty and got stung around 10 times. Also struggled to find the queen in 2 of the e 3 colonies.

Aqua isn’t swarming. Saw queen, marked and clipped her. However, marking was very poorly done and need to see if the bees continue to accept her.

After unites should have 5 colonies and will re-queen 2  and let 1 expand to full colony

Colony Inspection 24th June

Weather has been very hot all week, temperatures up to 32C. Bramble is nearly over. Have decided to buy in 3 Buckfast queens so starting to assess which colonies to re-queen. Finally starting to see some honey being put into the supers.

Varroa count in E very high, need to treat. Especially in light of email from NBU saying this was now a widespread problem owing to mild Winter.

Swarm from bait hive re-housed and now Denim.

Colony Inspection – 18th June

Weather has been very hot this past week temperatures 29C. Bramble is now out and the bees have been very active foraging.

Was away for the weekend and came back to find the bait is now occupied. After inspecting my colonies I can see it is not a swarm from one of mine. Moved to home apiary.

Apideas are on top of Flax with sealed brood. Unite of the first apidea has gone well. But no sign f laying queen

Colony Inspection – 11th June

Still quite a few showers, but plenty of blossom out. Geraniums and poppies in the garden covered in bees. Temperature is starting to warm up at last. Decided I needed to use the new queens to sort out the colonies that are struggling. With the bad weather the bees have been consuming stores and there seems to be less in the supers – not that there was much any way.


Need to unite Cyan and Denim as they show no signs of a queen and the Apideas both have had laying queens for over a week now. United on 12th June at Slyfield and introduced queen from AP1 in a travelling cage. Check in one week to ee if accepted and doing OK. Then decide whether to leave at Slyfield or bring home.

Colony Inspection – 4th June

Weather has been good all week. Lots of sunshine and temperatures in the early 20C range. Still a lot of forage around, geraniums now in flower as well as orange ball buddleja.

Spent the week-end cleaning old frames and boxes – see blog post for details

Decided to inspect all the home apiary colonies – they look to have been busy and saw evidence of mating flights earlier in the week. Pollen being brought in to all the hives. The new swarm looks to be very active and had drawn 5 frames in just 4 days.

The swarm (G) that I added a frame of eggs to from A last week had 3 unsealed queen cells. So was queenless after all and therefore united with B.

The Apideas are both going well, but will need to decide what to do as they will need more space by next week.

Apidea A – laying queen seen. Will need more space.

Apidea B – saw queen but no eggs. Drawn frames are bit wonky and will need more space.

Colony Inspection – 29th May

Weather has been very good for past two weeks. Lost of sun, warm but also a few showers.

First inspection of queen rearing colonies and apideas.

Cyan – Found a scrub queen cell as well as the still sealed grafted cell. The grafted cell was surrounded by brace comb so couldn’t  hatch out. Took off top and nice size, very dark queen emerged. Let her run into box. Uncapped the emergency cell and another good sized queen. So as one of the apideas was queenless put her in a Butler cage and introduced into Apidea.

Denim – queen  cell hatched out.

Apidea A – queen hatched out, not seen. Frames nicely drawn with plenty of store.

Apidea B – dead queen in capped cell. So added scrub queen from Cyan.

Picked up another swarm this time from Slyfield House (not my bees) on 31st May.

Still finding dead Bees in front of A and now the 2 new colonies – may be CBPV, would be first time I have seen this.

Colony Inspection – 20th May

Weather has improved with some nice days. Managed to melt down 2 supers in the solar wax extractor in one day!

Starting to get ready for finishing off queen rearing. made up 2 apideas and stocked with bees from E and F.

Picked up a small swarm from Cobham on the 23rd. Tried to abscond from nuc so put back in full size box and fed. Will name Green.

Cloake board split into 2 x 5 frame nucs in brood box on top of A. Named them Cyan and Denim


Colony Inspection – 11th May

Weather continues to be on the cool side.

Decided to perform queen rearing with colony A and will try and use a Cloake board method for the first time. First step was to make up the Cloake board using one of the varroa slides as the dividing partition.

  1. Day 1 a.m. – Moved brood frames into top brood box and kept queen in lower box below QE. Added Cloake board between 2 brood boxes with the slide removed.
  2. Day 1 p.m. – Added grafting bar frame and full frame feeder into top box. opened bottom entrance at 90 to original (no room at back for 180), put slide in  and opened up Cloake board entrance facing front.
  3. Day 2 – Took out grafting bar and grafted 10 larvae. Replaced in top box and topped up feeder.
  4. Day 3 –  9 out of 10 grafts taken. Filled frame feeder for 3rd time. Took out Cloake slide and closed bottom entrance.