Friday, 8 April 2011

Spring clean

We are, at last, at that point in spring when fine weather has more substance. The spring clean I had been planning can now be put into action. In the past weeks I spent time reading over what to do and also got two new brood boxes and frames ready.

Last week I managed to sort out Hive 2 and this week, with much better weather, is the turn of Hive 1. The photo you see here is Hive 1. The colony size is not dissimilar to that of the original nuc I bought two years ago, though a bit bigger. It's clear that the poor weather had affected Hive1 more then Hive 2. When I was clearing tout he old brood box at Hive 2 the bees were not happy at all and really wanted to have a go at me. Hive 1, on the other hand, is quieter that led me to worry about the health of this colony.

My worry was soon put to rest when I opened it up and had a proper look. There were eggs, grubs and sealed brood cells. Once again I have difficulty finding the queen. but rather then sepnding time searching for her I concentrate at transferring most of the old frames into the new brood box and replaced two old frames with new ones. The old brood box is now two years old and definitely needs some attention. I spend time cleaning it out and did some minor repairs.

Later in the evening I spotted a robin flying into my bee area. My wife said it's after the few dead bees. Nature's way of recycling. My next task will be to find the queens in both hives and mark them. It's a two person job. It will make searching for the queen much easier. Of course I still need to pay attention to signs of swarming activities, which may, or may not happen.

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