It's been a couple of weeks since the last time I was able to go and poke around the hives. The weather has not been favourable at the right time. Anyway, Sunday (5th May) came and with it some hot dry (albeit very humid) weather.
The two hives that I have located in a garden just down the street have grown a little. The hive that I put a second deep on two weeks ago is now beginning to grow into its new box. The other hive (in a single deep) was full of brood and needed room to expand into. So I added a second deep to this hive! Not much nectar is coming into these hives, at least it's not being stored in the supers that are on them. However I do keep having to remind myself it is still only just May. The bees were a bit agitated but all in all they were reasonably easy to work. I think only one or two tried to sting me.
The two hives in my yard seem to be marching on too! I would guess that more comb has been capped off and there seems to be quite a bit of nectar in the brood chamber. So is it time for some more supers? Not quite, but soon... There is still some room in the supers that are already on the hives and I would rather these get filled before I put anything more on. When I do bottom-super I will interleave comb with new foundation. I hope by doing this the bees will rapidly draw out the foundation and also store nectar. Maybe at the end of the week... Once again these bees were so quiet to work! It was as though they were inviting me in for a look round. Hardly any were flying during my inspection! They truly are a pleasure to work!
Finally, I managed to take a look at the bees at the botanical gardens. I have had a nuc sat there since April 9th and it was about time I took a look inside as they were probably due to be expanded into a hive. They didn't disappoint! There was a lot of lovely brood in the nuc so I installed the 5 frames in a new hive body. I also made my way through the adjacent, parent, hive. This was brim full of bees (yet I saw no sign of queen cells!). The super (at the bottom of the hive) that was full of brood, is still full of brood so I left this in place. At some point I will remove it but I don't think this will be any time soon! I have two supers over the hive and these are filling nicely. Now, this is where I may have made a mistake... I decided to add a super to the large hive - easy enough - but I also decided to move a full super across to the nuc in order to encourage the bees to draw out comb etc.
Will this work? I don't know! The addition of the bees in the super to the nuc may upset the queen (either that or the new bees might just kill her on their way back to their own hive) . Also I realized shortly after doing this that adding the super of foundation didn't actually create any new space for the bees to occupy as I had intended! The super contained foundation and no drawn comb! I may have screwed things up, again! We will have to wait and see...