Weekly Inspection 18th April

Collecting pollen from dandelion

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Initial Inspection for 2024 Season

The early Spring weather has been very poor – lots of rain and cool temperature. Only now – mid-April have the temperatures started to get to 15°C. I decided to feed all of the colonies with Ambrosia and most took down 1Kg and 2  got through 1.5Kg.

Nearly had a swarm with Cyan which is the largest colony – 2 capped cells but queen and eggs present. If I had left it another day I think it would have tried to swarm despite queen being clipped. Lack of space likely to be the main trigger.

Needed to move the colony at my out apiary to a new position. As it was around 20m I’ve brought it back home for 3-4 weeks and will then move it back to its new position. Have moved Honeydew to the out apiary as I wanted more colonies at a 2nd site as a backup.

Given the reports of queen cells also being found by other beekeepers I have put out my bait hive which is earlier than I normally would.

Deadouts: Emerald – was a strong colony going into Winter. Seems to have petered out with only a few bees on the frames. Lots of stores left.

Blue – lots of dead bees on the floor, none on the frames. Was alive  early Spring and had taken 1/4 block of Ambrosia down.

Forage: Lots of blossom out, strawberries already flowering  and dandelion in abundance.

Weekly Inspection 22nd August

Weather: continues to be fine with the temperatures 20° to 22°C

Forage: Red, hot, poker, goldenrod, finishing Rebecca and Himalayan balsam.

Starting to feed the light colonies without supers. Concerned about Aqua as it looks to be shrinking and may need to unite with the Nuc.

inspection split into two parts because of the weather, so took a decision to unite Aqua nanda Nuc

Weekly Inspection 10th August

Weather: improved and temperatures, 18° to 22°C. Some heavy showers,

Forage: golden rod, knot weed, rosebay willow herb and borage

Starting to see foraging activity slow down. lots of wasps around

Coming and going

Weekly Inspection 31st July

Weather: cooler temperatures 20°C with lots of showers. Evenings starting to get chilly

Forage: Rosebay Willowherb, Echinacea, Runner beans, borage

Noticeably, less foraging activity taking place. Created a nuc from the Queen in the Apidea with frames from cyan and emerald Queen was laying in the Apidea.

Weekly Inspection 23rd July

Weather: cooler temperatures with some heavy showers, including a couple of all day spells.

Forage: Buddleia, St John’s wort, Borage still, some rosebay willow herb. However, the level of activity from the hives has dropped off.

For once no major issues with any of the colonies, now I need to start thinking about Winter preparations and adding in missing frames from some of the colonies prior to assessing stores in the brood boxes.

Apidea: queen high size, but couldn’t see any eggs. If eggs present next inspection, then will create a nuc with frames from E&C.