Weekly Inspection – April Fool

Well the weather has been exceptional – up to 20 C. Bees have been very active bringing in lots of pollen and nectar. Managed to inspect both home and River Mole apiaries, will try to do Westhumble on Wednesday.

Saw a drone with white eyes (forgot my camera) which is a recessive trait. Also the queen in the largest colony at the Mole apiary is massive, so will need to try and breed from her later in the season.
Decided to try and strengthen the nuc to see if I can get it to a viable state with a view to re-queening later in the season.

Forecast for the coming week is much lower temperatures, which may slow things down.

Flowering: Plum and flowering cherry

River Mole – First Inspection

Weather has been fantastic all week and looks set to continue. Following yesterdays’ inspection I went down to the Mole River apiary site to inspect the bees for the first time. All 3 colonies are on 14 x 12 brood boxes.

Didn’t see any of the queens but plenty of eggs – so should be OK. Also saw some drones, which is very early in the season.

First Inspection of Season – My Colonies

After the nice weather we have been having, temperatures between 16-18°C, I decided to inspect my colonies. Three are in good shape and one looks very weak and may not survive. 3 strong colonies bringing in plenty of nectar and pollen.

The 3 colonies with pollen substitute, including one in my out apiary, have hardly touched it, so removed.

The brood box at the out apiary has been holed by a woodpecker so will need to be replaced. I will need to remember to make up some protection covers for the end of the year.

Plum now in flower.

Adding First Supers

As the weather has been OK and the bees are busy I decided it was time to add a super to each of the colonies. Still too cold for a proper inspection so will wait a couple of weeks for this. Only managed to add supers for home apiary colonies, so will try to add those for the 2 out-apiary sites during the week. Couldn’t see any consumption of the pollen substitute patties so won’t do that again unless I manage to collect and mix in some pollen. It will be interesting to see if there is any difference with the colonies in the out-apiary sites as they are in a rural location and may want the feed more than my back garden colonies.

Added supers with drawn comb from last years extracted supers.

First Visit To River Mole Out Apiary

This was my first trip to see the 3 colonies I will be managing on behalf of another local beekeeper for this season. They are in an out apiary next to the River Mole. All 3 colonies are on 14 x 12 boxes. I removed the woodpecker screens and lifted the lid to check how many seams of bees there were in each as well as heft them to check for stores.

All seem to be in a good state.

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.