Apidea – Trials and Tribulations

My endeavours with queen rearing in the two Apideas doesn’t seem to be working out.

Eggs laid by a worker

Drone Laying Worker

They have drawn the frames out very well and seem to have enough stores. The apidea with a ripe queen cell seems to have hatched out but I can’t see any sign of the queen and it’s probably too soon for her to be mated and laying eggs. So given presence of multiple eggs in the cells I can only assume that it’s a drone laying worker rather than a normal queen. I’ve never seen so many eggs in individual cells.

The apidea that had a laying queen in it for a day has developed a nice looking queen cell. Not sure whether I will get a viable queen but decided to leave it and see what happens. Hopefully the weather will improve for her to stand a chance of getting mated.
Apidea Raising Its Own Queen Cell

Queen cell built by bees in the Apidea

Swarm Control – Using a Modified Snelgrove Board Part 2

The split seems to be doing well. The colony looks to be balanced with more bees in the queen rearing half. This is to be expected as the flying bees are returning to this colony. Both entrances are being used.

  1. There are no queen cells in the lower parent, didn’t spot the queen but there were about 3 frames of eggs out of the 6 brood frames.
  2. In the queen raiser half there were about 6 unsealed queen cells, none on the frame I gave them from the lower box. I will go back in 3 days to select one cell to remain and take 2 for my apideas.

The apidea frames that I put into the super hadn’t been drawn any further than when I visited on Tuesday. So I just took them out and stocked the apideas with bees from the other 2 colonies. As I hadn’t added any feed I was able to use the bottom slide and it’s certainly easier than trying to get them in past the frames and push the lid on quickly.

I brought the apideas home and fed with syrup. Normally I find this to be very messy and lose a lot of bees taking the lid and cover off. But this time I drilled a small 4mm hole in the acrylic cover and used a syringe to squirt the syrup into the feeder. Certainly a lot easier than my past experiences. Finally I sprayed some water in through the front grill and put in a quiet spot to acclimatise and hopefully draw out the wax in the next few days.


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