Thursday, 22 April 2010

Hiving the swarm

This morning my friend Tom came and gave me a hand hiving the swarm transferring the new colony from the nuc to the new hive. He took the photo you see here.

The weather is simply lovely. Yesterday morning I took the time to monitor activities at both hives and checking it against the clock. It would seem that around 11 am is the best time to move the bees when things are just warming up but not so much so as to be troublesome.

Ideally I would like to take time to look for the queen in Hv2 (the new hive) while I was doing the transfer, but as the entire colony must have enough disturbance since Sunday I decided just to move the frames, put out a feeder with sugar solution ( 1 litre of water to 2 kg of sugar) and closed up the hive. The proper inspection will just have to wait. I am also planning to get some help marking the new queen. Without doubt I shall have to do the same with the old hive (Hv1). Within half an hours of moving the frames all bees calmed down and starting to get in and out of HV2 with no fuss.

Things are calm over Hv1 so fingers cross the queen cell I saw on Saturday is getting on producing a new queen. There is now a bit of a mystery as to what had happened to the old green dotted queen. Has it died, or been supersedured ( a sort of palace coup for those who doesn't know what this is)? If so when did it happened? I only actually saw that queen a couple of times last year so it could have happened any time between January and a few weeks ago. In any case I think I had been lucky not loosing the colony. However with the old colony effectively divided I now face the challenge of having a hive (probably HV1) build itself up fast enough to start producing surplus honey. Peter who supply the new hove to me is confident that the new hive will build up quickly. Thankfully the season has just started so time is on my side.

Speaking of the new hive mine ( a National hive) seems to take 12 instead of the normal 11 frames, which is the usual number. Not that it matters just that I had 11 ready and had to quickly make up a new frame on the spot.

This afternoon. while working in my neighbour's garden I saw a bee with pollen on its legs. I did wonder if that is one of mine. Good if it is. My next inspect will be HV1 in about 10 days and Hv2 in a bout a week just to give al the bees a bit of time to settle down. We all need a rest some time.

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