colonies

Early June Inspection

Weather has been variable with quite a few showers. Temperature has been in the late teens. Had seen bees carrying pollen into Cyan during the week which indicated that there might well be a laying queen after all – and on inspection there was. Also observed quite a few drones returning flom flying during the mid-afternoon froma two of the colonies.

Decided that as the Apidea at my out apiary had done well – the combs were drawn out fully and there was a lying queen to make up a nuc and introduce her. So took 2 frames of brood and adhering bees from Aqua and shook bees from 2 brood combs of the Denim colony. Made sure I liberally dusted the bees with icing sugar in the hope of avoiding any fighting and moved the5 frame nuc to the out apiary.  Put in a frame feeder and top up with weak 1:1 syrup. Put the queen in a Butler cage and rested between the 2 brood frames.

 

Bit shocked that on removing the drone trap from Aqua to find 22 mites in 200 cells examined. That’s a very high count so will have to decide if they need treating,  possibly by vaoprising with Oxalic Acid. Not sure if this will be effective with the amount of sealed brood present but don’t really want to do any chemical treatment.

Flowering: Elederberry, dogwood, nasturtium and mock orange

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.