Yesterday I nervously set out to inspect the hives in Ladue! Nervous, why? Because last time I went to look at them they were very aggressive and unpleasant!
I have 3 hives in Ladue now, two nucs and this nasty existing hive. My plan was to go through the nucs first to see how they are performing and then to take the supers from the nasty hive and "store" them over the nucs prior to the harvest in a couple of weeks. I thought that by working in this way it would make harvesting any honey from the nasty hive a bit easier.
The nucs look great! Both have good Queens laying in them. But I will need some additional deeps quite soon. However I now have to confess I am wondering if they should remain strong in single deeps for the winter, or maybe I should combine them with the nasty hive to create two strong hives going into the winter!!! I might call Eugene for advice.
Anyway instead of closing up the nucs as I found them, I put on a queen excluder and added a new super of undrawn foundation. I then went to relocate the supers from the other hive...
I should say that before I worked the nucs (and also during) I smoked the nasty hive to try to calm them and keep them calm. I think this (and the fact it was a much nicer day than the last time I did an inspection) must have worked because they were really OK this time. A couple of bees did follow me back to my car but I wasn't stung like I have been.
I smoked supers quite heavily before pulling them off and relocating them and I didn't have any major issues! Rather than just leave the deeps I added an empty super of drawn comb to the hive just to encourage the bees to keep on keeping on!
So this means that each of my nucs are now in single deeps with full(ish) supers of honey and an undrawn super over them and the nasty hive is down to two deeps and an empty super of drawn comb.
Next time out I will harvest the supers (or at least decide how many I will take) and then think about finding the queen in the nasty hive and executing her!
My home hive, the one that I split from the over wintered colony and which raised their own Queen from a frame of brood, looks great!
I went in to do an inspection tonight to see just how hard they'd been working and I found a great number of bees in front of the hive flying about! Now there's been talk of robbing at recent meetings, and I'm not sure I've actually witnessed real robbing, but to me this looked just too relaxed! Bees were simply flying around so I put all the activity down to test flights!
When I got in the hive I saw the two supers (that I had taken from the adjacent big hive) were full and inside the deeps there was lots of brood and eggs and larvae. I didn't see the Queen, which was a pity, but there was lots of evidence she's in there and happy.
And no Queen Cells! Finally swarming urges are being tempered! Well, maybe!
Anyway I laid down a challenge to the girls! I put on a new super (3 now) mostly filled with frames of foundation. They have a little over 3 weeks to draw it out and fill it!
This morning I did another inspection of the hives at the botanical gardens. These hives each have 4 supers on them.
Last time I was there I put an excluder between the deeps and supers of the "swarm hive". I hoped I successfully chased the Queen into the deeps as she had been laying in the supers.
Well, my strategy seems to be working! There were no eggs or larvae in the supers. The cells were capped and the cells around the larvae filled with nectar. It looks like the bees are gradually using the supers for their intended purpose.
The other hive is also settling down. No sign of any eggs of brood in the supers. I put an empty super between the deep and the supers and this is being slowly drawn out.
I don't think I need to do another inspection for a bit do it may well be a couple of weeks; perhaps the next time will be just before I harvest.
I went into Diane's hive on Friday, they were a little aggressive and I got stung twice on my upper arms, through my suit! Not very impressed!
I have 4 supers on this hive. Three are pretty full and one us still filling, and as I was looking at the lowest super, wouldn't you know it; I saw a capped Queen Cell. I didn't have time to deal with this there and then but I did bring it up at the bee seminar later that day.
Anyway, the advice was to go and find the Queen and once I find her remove the queen cell! I might be too late given it is now nearly two days later!
I'll take a look and maybe add a super, just to encourage the girls to fill it!
Next inspection June 15.
I went in to the hive this morning to see what I could see! I found a number of swarm cells but couldn't find the Queen! Lots of eggs and brood however! Anyway, I removed all but one Queen Cell. The bees were quite well behaved. They stung my suit a few times but settled down after being smoked for a bit.
I'll go back in a couple of weeks and see if the numbers of bees look any different then! There's no point going in before as if there is a new Queen she'll need to settle in and if there isn't a new Queen the other one will be OZk by then I think!