Tuesday, May 7, 2013

An Extended Day Beekeeping!

The weather was so bad this weekend that I didn't manage to get any beekeeping in, yet again.  Instead I took Monday off (May 6) and went round my hives.  This activity actually started on Sunday as I needed to plan what I was going to do at each hive location so that I wasn't unnecessarily running about.  Broadly my planning worked! Broadly, but not quite...

So what follows are my plans and notes of what actually happened - a few surprises came my way!

Equipment needs:
Tool box - 2 empty drawn frames + mating box frames.
Spare deep - no frames.
Supers with cut comb x 2.
Supers x 10.
2 nuc boxes for possible splits.

Should have taken my back support!

Home hive:
Check for queen cells and/or queen.
Perform artificial swarm if cells present! or simply reverse if not.
Need excluder and deep of drawn comb for AS.
Add 1x super with cut comb.

Didn't see the queen, but saw Swarm cells were present on two frames. Relocated one frame to mating box (centre compartment) left one in the hive but removed 2 of the 3 cells on it. If the queen in the hive doesn't take maybe the one in the mating box will.
I think it may be likely this hive will swarm!
Bottom supered with frames for cut comb. Three supers currently in place.

Diane Hive:
Check for queen cells. Remove any queen cells to tool box then to mating box in yard.
Add supers x 2 (max).

Didn't see the queen, no sign of supersedure cells or swarm cells. Didn't reverse. 
Bottom supered a single super. Two currently in place.

Ladue Hives:
Check two hives for queen cells. Remove to tool box/nuc box if present.
Perform reversals.
Add supers x 4.

Down to one hive, but combined the hives.
Swarm cells removed from the one surviving hive (removed a total of 4 frames) to make up a nuc at home.
Added 2 supers.

Mating box:
Check queen cells.
If not hatched relocate to nuc box/tool box, take to Gdns for swarm hive, otherwise leave.

Swarm cell present in western compartment. Decided to leave it in place!
These cells (and those in the centre compartment from the home hive) were subsequently all relocated to the "swarm hive" at the gardens.

Garden Swarm Hive #2:
Check for queen. If present OK. If not use frame from mating box.
Reorganize and reduce to 2 deeps.
Add supers x 2.

No queen! Swarm was either Queenless or they killed her! 
Reduced bees into 2 deeps added 2 supers (3 total now). Put in queen cells from the mating box. A couple were damaged in transit (at the bottom of frames) but hopefully either the healthy capped cell or the viable uncapped cells will develop. Check back in a couple of weeks!
Should have taken my swarm cells to the gardens as planned. The "swarm hive" was queenless and needed these cells and I had to drive home to collect them!

Garden Hive #1:
Check for queen cells. If present relocate to swarm hive or nuc box.
Add supers x 2 - check garage!
Add one super with cut comb.

All ok! Added two supers. Total of two in place.

A montage from the Botanical Gardens of some lovely brood,
pollen and a very prominent Queen Cell.

Another montage from the Botanical Gardens,
including the delivery of the Queen Cell!

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