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.

Colony Inspection 10th June

Weather has been warm all week. Put out bait hive and also gave a swarm box to our swarm collector.

Update – bait hive looks to be occupied just 2 days after setting up

Elderflower finishing and geranium in full flower.

Colony Inspection 3rd June

Weather still above average and now quite warm.
Elderberry in flower.

Colony Inspection 26th May

Weather had been good, temperatures above average at around 16C. Have been some heavy showers.
Chestnut still flowering and hawthorn now finishing.

Colony Inspection 23rd June

Mini heatwave on. Bramble now in flower everywhere  and lots of activity around the hives.

Well it looks like Aqua reared 3 queens judging by the opened queen cells. In my rush before I went away I didn’t do a good job taking down the QCs. Also now think that the bait hive (Indigo) probably captured one of the cast swarms from Aqua. So not many bees left in Aqua and not bring in much stores. Thinking back they probably din’t have enough space and I should have acted sooner.