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.