Colony Inspection 28th May

weather back to normal for time of year – temperatures up to 18C.

 

flowering: chesnut finishing, wisteria, thyme and elder just starting

 

Blue – new colony from Wilson/Pagden has built QCs on frame from Aqua after colony was re-arranged and old queen moved to nuc. Also Denim has started swarming with 4 charged QCs, so took all down and will introduce a sealed QC from Blue.

2nd June – Aqua – cut out a sealed QC and put into Denim. Moved Denim queen to nuc and put in River Mole site, added sealed QC plus 3 frames foundation to replace frames added to nuc. Took down all sealed and unsealed QCs – also removed DT and found 50 in 200 mites – so will need to consider treating. But may get away with it as there will be a period of no new brood because of re-queening activity.

Colony Inspection – 18th May

weather improving and ghetto get warmer – 15C. Still below average. Wilson ref-queening may not have worked. Certainly old Aqua colony still intent on swarming. So decided mid-week to move Aqua to nuc and took to River Mole site. Aqua has 2 BIAS plus 2 frames of stores, and 1 of foundation. Put new colony (Blue) onto stand, still no sign of laying queen.

 

Flowering: Chesnut, wisteria and poppy

Colony Inspection – 10th May

Weather has started to warm up and temperatures are returning to normal – around 15C. Weather has been changeable with some heavy showers.

 

still lots of blossom – Chestnut now in full bloom, thyme, lilac

Colony Inspection – 6th May

Weather distinctly cooler – temperatures around 10-12C, so much colder than normal. A still lots of blossom – Lilac, Wisteria, OSR in countryside.

Did final manipulation on Aqua, so will now leave for 2 weeks before opening up again. Lots of scrub small size QCs + 1 nice size sealed cell – so took it down to just this one.

Colony Inspection 28th April

Weather has started to turn cooler. Still plenty of forage around. Went back through Aqua to check on swarming activity and found 3 charged QCs – so started with the modified Wilson/manipulation process I use. Bees were also very nasty – followers.

Examined Mole River apiary site after 2 weeks and was pleasantly surprised at how well the colonies are doing.

Put out the bait hive with 4 old frames from the Blue deadout.

Colony Inspection 24th April

Inspected the home colonies after being away over Easter. Weather has been very warm and a lot of plants in flower: Dandelion, apple, buddleia just starting. The forecast is set to get much colder so it’s just as well the bees seem to have been bringing in plenty of stores.

Colonies are expanding nicely and Aqua is close to running out of laying space. Adding first of supers which is earlier than normal.

Need to clean up some of last years frames to allow for colony expansion.

Colony Inspection 13th April

Weather has turned colder with temps between 10C – 12C. Lots in flower: quince, Laurel, cherry & dandelion

Aqua has expanded nicely, others are doing OK and 2 are not really growing. Added first super to Aqua.

Will need to keep an eye on Varroa as the 2 colonies that had partially filled drone traps had more than 10% mite counts. Should make sure all the colonies have drone trap combs.

Colony Inspection 23rd March 2019

The weather has been warm and the temperatures have picked up and are now around 12 -14 C. Lots of blossom now out because of the very warm February.

Bees are very active and taking in pollen. This is the first inspection of the home apiary colonies and I wanted to to see how they are doing for stores as experience has told me that they get through more stores if the Winter is mild. All 5 colonies are low but 2 of them are bringing in quite a lot of nectar.

inspected the Mole River apiary on 30th March

Flowering: Quince, Cherry, Laurel And Gorse.

 

Added feeders to 3 of the colonies as the stores are low and if the weather turns colder they may struggle.

Colony Inspection 30th June

Heatwave continues with temperatures getting to 30C. Shows what a difference a week can make – panic over about whether I have mated queens in Aqua and Flax. Need to learn to be more patient. Took Denim (old queen from Aqua) to Mole River site in anticipation if uniting with Flax – but as there was a laying queen decided to put into full size box.

Rose-bay Willowherb just starting to appear as well as Hebe and Buddleia – ahead of when it should be out. No sign of a June gap this year.

Bees have been bring in a lot of honey – needed to add 3 supers.

 

Total Supers in use – 9, 3 full, 3 partially full and 3 added this week

Colony Inspection 17th June

Been away for week and the weather has remained very good all week. Mock orange now in flower (not good for bees but a good indicator for the season).

Bait hive is definitely occupied. Didn’t inspect A as the new queen will be yet to be mated.

Also picked up a very large swarm and brought back to home apiary.