Second inspection of the 12 months

Second inspection of the 12 months

It has been a chilly week, however right now appeared to mark a turning level within the climate right here. I took my coat and gloves again off; my gloves had been put away for the summer time two weeks in the past, solely to be unexpectedly retrieved when the chilly winds arrived. In some components of the nation snow has fallen and beekeepers haven’t discovered a possibility to do a primary inspection but.

cherry tree
Cherry tree in my backyard – on one of many grey days

I lit my smoker and approached Demelza’s hive – I at all times examine that hive first because it’s calmer. I nonetheless could not spot Queen Demelza, and her employees had not made a begin on drawing out the frames of their tremendous. Maybe they are going to now the climate appears to be warming up once more. I noticed eggs and brood throughout about six frames, and the colony appeared content material and calm.

On to Kensa’s hive. I had left them an excellent of honey on over winter, which I now assume was a mistake. They most likely had an excessive amount of house to maintain heat, and now a number of the brood has chalkbrood illness. The queen had additionally begun laying within the tremendous, making it a colony on a brood-and-a-half system. I dislike this, because it means inspecting two containers, and the 2 body sizes aren’t interchangeable. I wanted to search out Queen Kensa this week for the following step within the Bailey comb change I would began. I started by transferring the highest tremendous field a couple of toes away and protecting it coated with the crown board to maintain the bees calm. I positioned the tremendous field on prime of the upturned hive roof, in order that if the queen was there and fell down she would fall into the roof slightly than on the bottom.

I then spent a while inspecting the frames within the brood field. The colony was solely utilizing about half of those at one finish of the hive. I additionally took the chance to slowly and gently take away comb sticking up from the highest of the brood frames, utilizing my hive device. Sadly the bees grew to become increasingly more agitated, and I could not spot the queen.

The temper of the bees gave me a clue that maybe Queen Kensa was within the tremendous a couple of toes away. The bees in a short time discover if their queen goes lacking and you may hear the sounds of the colony change barely. I coated excessive of the hive and moved over to the tremendous. Shifting the brood away is an efficient trick with an aggressive hive, because the flying foragers are extra defensive than the nurse bees that stick with the brood. The bees within the tremendous have been in a really completely different temper, with a busy however peaceable hum. I made a decision the queen have to be with them.

I fastidiously ran my eyes over the frames, turning them over and taking in all of the bees. About three frames in, I noticed her. After which I did not. My eyes misplaced her for a second and he or she disappeared. I turned the body over a couple of occasions earlier than recognizing her once more, lengthy and chocolate brown. That’s how simple it’s to lose an unmarked queen.

Returning to the brood field, I eliminated the half of the frames that have been empty and crammed them with a number of the tremendous frames of brood. I positioned the queen excluder on prime after which Queen Kensa on the tremendous body I would discovered her on, plus the brand new brood frames added final time. As soon as the brood under hatches out, I can take away the outdated frames and get them down to at least one brood field with principally new comb. Not an ideal Bailey comb change however an excellent begin. I plan to mark Queen Kensa subsequent week now I’ve narrowed down the place she is. I used to be feeling fairly drained out by this level!

I can already consider some issues I’ve accomplished improper, however by no means thoughts, hopefully the colony is transferring in the appropriate course and I will type it out on the following inspection.

By the way in which, does anybody know the best way to edit photographs within the WordPress media library to make their dimensions smaller? I used to understand how however the possibility appears to have been eliminated. I can see the best way to make photographs in posts smaller but it surely seems like the unique photographs within the media library stay the identical dimension and take up more room.

Apple buds
Mini apple tree in my backyard. I had two in pots – one has survived the winter and one has not

About Emily Scott

I’m a UK beekeeper who has lately moved from London to windswept, moist Cornwall. I first began protecting bees within the Ealing Beekeepers Affiliation’s native apiary in 2008, once I created this weblog as a file for myself of my numerous beekeeping associated disasters and – hopefully! – future successes.