Sunday, June 5, 2016

Manipulation Update...

Two weeks ago I did some swarm control and today it was time to see what had resulted.  I'm not sure exactly what happened but it doesn't look all that great!

Hive 1: Dave's hive has several closed Queen cells on 2 or more frames; they look like swarm cells judging from their position.  I didn't see the Queen so it's possible that this hive may already have swarmed!  Nevertheless there are about 2 supers full of honey, so that's a result!

Hive 2:  This is the hive I combined and the one we performed an artificial swarm on a couple of weeks ago.  It's looking quite good; two full supers, so I bottom supered and added third.  No queen to see, but I think this is OK.  No sign of any queen cells either.

Hive 4, Artificial Swarm:  This was looking weak; I am not sure the swarm took.  I saw no young brood and only capped spotty brood. So I  took a frame with a couple of queen cells from Hive 1 and dropped it into this hive.  In a couple of weeks, with luck, this will be stronger.  I also saw some dead larvae - I will have to do some research to see if I can tell what is effecting the bees.

Hive 3:  This is the swarm hive.  There was no young brood above the queen excluder, only capped brood.  What was left was mostly drone brood too, so that is to be expected as this takes longest to mature.  The bees here are also pulling in some nectar and are filling a super, albeit slowly.  The deep has brood across only on 3 or 4 frames and I didn't see the queen,.  However, I did see young larvae so I think she's OK.  This hive might need some TLC to get it strong enough for the winter - might have to consider combining it with another weaker one!

I think the next inspection will concentrate on looking for the Queens in Hives 2 and 3. I will hold off looking through Hive 4 and Dave's hive as young queens will or should be present and I don't want to disturb them! But I do want to make sure they are all accounted for!