Wednesday, 21 April 2010

After the swarm

At the beginning of the year I had a general plan to prevent my hive from swarming. I had no plan to have a second hive until next year, at the earliest. But as we saw event over took me albeit with a fortunate outcome for me.

Looking back I now know that the local weather (at my garden) clearly warm up quicker and I must take this into account in future and perhaps inspect my hive at the beginning of March when we had the odd warm day. Now that the swarm had taken place I am left with a long to-do list including going back to my reference books and revise some of my knowledge on beekeeping.

On top of the list is to transfer my new colony to the new hive, which you can see in the photo sitting atop of one another. This I shall do tomorrow. Once that is done it's a matter of making sure that both hives have a productive queen. For the old hive (HV1) is a case of calculating when the new queen will emerge, complete it's mating flight, and return to the hive. On Saturday I clearly saw a seal queen cell, this means that the cell is at lease 8 days old. If so the new queen will hatch after a further 8 days. This in turn means the queen should be mated and start laying in 2 week's time (from Saturday). As for the new hive (HV2) my main task will be to check the queen again to make sure that a) it is a new queen, and b) it is laying. All information I had indicates that the new colony is prime to build combs, so I expect the new brood box will be filled up pretty soon. I shall also be giving this hive a feed to encourage the colony to build itself up. There is the mystery of what happened to the old green dotted queen.

Interesting observation today: I saw a bee landed on a honey suckle leave and seem to be sucking it for some time. If you read this and know something about please do leave me a comment.

Meanwhile please enjoy this short video of the new colony flying about the nuc entrance.

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