colonies

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.

End Of May – June Gap Comes Early

Weather this past week has been showery and a bit cool. The bees seem to have slowed down a bit, so looks like the June gap is here. Still plants flowering ahead of normal for this time of year – Blackberry is now coming out. Spring was apparently 3rd warmest on record.

I have queens in both apideas, the second one at River Mole site is not yet laying but is a nice size. I need to introduce the queen from the home apiary apidea into Blue as it is has no brood, supersedure doesn’t appear to have been successful and the bees are very agitated on the combs. So it looks to be queenless. The Cyan colony also appears queenless and if this continues will need to decide next week to introduce the queen from the second apidea (assuming she comes into lay). Not much honey being stored yet, but fingers crossed they start to bring in nectar for the main flow.

Removed varroa slides from 3 colonies and the mite drop count for the week was 1,0,3 – which is low.

Decided to mark all new laying queens and clip last seasons queens.

Flowering: elderflower, blackberry

Annual Oxalic Acid Treatment

Annual treatment with Oxalic Acid for Varroa control. Temperature around 9°C, bit warm but didn’t want to leave it any later in the month as one of the main triggers for the queen to lay is day length.

Didn’t open up the hives, just applied 5ml of Oxalic acid to each seam of bees.