Beekeeping with Morgan

It’s difficult to persuade Morgan to get out of his room these days. He’s such a typical teenager! I did manage to get him out to inspect the bee-hives last week though. All was looking good in the hives.

An Extra Brood Box

The biggest colony was bursting at the seams so I decided to give them an extra brood box. Having Morgan there as an extra pair of hands helped with this. I was able to lift the existing brood box up whilst he placed a new one below it. This meant there was little change of loosing the queen in the process! They have one super with quite a bit of honey in it and an empty super on top of that as well. It’s therefore looking like a hive that means business now!

A Towering Hive

Hopefully the additional space afforded by the second brood box will prevent them from swarming. If so, they should start to produce plenty of honey as there will be loads of bees to do so.

I’ve since checked on them again and all is still looking good.

Haphazard Comb Building

The swarm that I caught recently has been settling in nicely. They have built out lots of new comb in a haphazard fashion though which makes inspecting them difficult. Not only are the frames welded together by comb running at right angles to what it should be but the nooks and crannies created by the comb means it’s difficult to see what is going on.

Haphazard Comb Building

We did spot the queen though which was a first since catching the swarm and all was looking good.

I did however have another look at them this weekend and there was the beginnings of a couple of queen cells. I could try to split them and then re-unite them later in the year but I might just leave them to it and let them swarm. As it’s a caught swarm I don’t know how old the queen is. If she swarms and the new queen successfully mates then I could take this colony into the winter with a new 2020 queen. I won’t really have lost anything by doing so but it will probably be quite a small colony and we are unlikely to get any honey from them this year.

More swarming

The other colony was looking good last week, but when I inspected them again this weekend they had a single unsealed queen cell. Trouble is, it looked like an emergency queen cell as it was towards the top of a frame rather than at the bottom as usual. Not only that but despite looking through the hive three times I couldn’t find the queen. Either something has happened to her and the bees felt it necessary to build an emergency queen cell, or she has swarmed already without me knowing and before the queen cell was sealed. As I was unable to find the queen there wasn’t much I could do here so it looks as though I’ll have to just leave this colony to its own devices as well and hope that a new queen emerges and is able to mate successfully.

I knew things were going too well.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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