Archive for May 2015

Apiary:31st May – Fair Afternoon

Despite heavy rain throughout the morning the weather cleared up for the afternoon apiary meeting. A reduced number of members went through the hives putting clearing boards on the hives that had supers worth extracting at the evening meeting to follow on 1st June. Although brood inspections were kept to a minimum a number of queen cells were dealt with, hopefully avoiding swarms during the following week. A number of frames were made up.

Weather fair, 14C at 14:30.

Hive#1

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (14×12)
Queen (Yellow/2014) seen and clipped
Foundation shallow removed
Deep put under Bailey comb change, 9 frames of brood with some chalkbrood. Temporary entrance needs replacing with better woodwork.
5 Queen Cells removed
4 frames with brood including eggs, some ‘dirty’ sealed drone  brood
5 frames with stores, cappings removed to encourage moving to supers
2 partially drawn frames
Supers: 2
Clearing board put under top super
Temper:8

Hive#2

Inspected by: Brad D
Brood Chamber:2 (14×12)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) not seen.
14×12
12 queen cells removed 1 unsealed left, frame marked.
6 frames of brood no eggs or young larvae
4 frames of stores
1 frame to be drawn (box short of 1 frame. Dummy board used and space packed with 1 deep foundation frame as interim measure).
Shallow Brood Bailey Change not checked
Supers: 3
Clearer board put under top 2 supers.
Temper:9

Hive#3

Not inspected – check for new queen laying 7th June

Hive#4

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (Double Deep)
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Lower Deep
0 queen cells
6 frames with brood including eggs
4 frames with stores
1 partially drawn and 1 foundation frame
Upper Deep
0 queen cells
4 frames with brood including eggs
2 frames with stores
5 frames undrawn
Super: 1
empty
Temper:10

Hive#5

Inspected by: David P
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen and clipped
5 queen cells removed
6 frames with brood all stages including eggs.
3 frames with stores
2 frames room
Supers: 2
Clearer board put under top super
Temper:6

Hive#6

Brood not inspected, awaiting emergence nad laying of new queen
Supers:3
added foundation super and put clearer boards under top 2 supers.

Hive#7

Not inspected, awaiting emergence and laying of new queen

Hive#8

Inspected by: David P
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
Removed queen cells
8 frames with brood including eggs 8-? frames used to make up nucleus
4 frames with stores
0 frames empty. Room for laying OK
Supers: 2
Clearing board put under top super
Temper: 8

Mating Nuclei

Not inspected

Late May forage

May is departing as it arrived, wet and windy, but the month has been dry with plenty for the bees to forage.  If your bees are (un!)lucky enough to have rape within striking distance then you will have supers to remove.  Remember rape honey begins crystallising in the comb as the blossoms begin to fade.  For my bees May has given an abundance of tree casino online and flower forage.  From mid May holly, rowan  and may (hawthorn) have been fighting for attention.  I understand that hawthorn honey is exceptionally tasty but only flows about once a decade – perhaps this is the year, I have never seen the bushes so covered in blossom.

During the mid-May pollen-sampling my bees were foraging from nineteen different sources, half a dozen being abundant in the samples.    Soon the limes will be in flower and then as the natural tree-forage fades verges, hedgerows and the garden “exotics” fill the gap.

Apiary:June Outlook

It looks like May was the dullest in the last 5 years and following on from a sunny end to April interfered with our queen rearing plans with the chosen colony throwing Queen Cells. Our objective to re-introduce 2 14×12 hives has just about been achieved. The withdrawl of the deep and shallow brood chambers being outstanding. Although not ‘by the book’ we currently have 3 mating nuclei from our chosen queen rearing hive. June will prove if the resultant virgin queens mated and returned successfully. A secondary hive has been identified as a further source of queens. After a ‘False Alarm’ the apiary was given the all-clear of notifiable diseases.

The larvae pupating now will provide the bulk of the foragers for the main flow in July. Hopefully the notorious ‘June Gap’ will not be lengthy this year. The weather has held back some May forage and hopefully the sun will keep the July forage on time. Swarm prevention and where necessary control will continue through June as a lack of foraging may result in congested hives. The Oil Seed Rape honey will need to be removed and processed early in the month before it granulates.

It would be nice to see more of our seasoned members at the apiary meetings. Why not pop along for a visit one Sunday in June? Meet the new beekeepers, take a look at the apiary and maybe consider taking on the role of Apiary Trustee for next year.

– Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams

Apiary:24th May – 2 swarms lost

Lack of drawn supers and reluctance of bees to draw foundation in supers is leading to congestion of stores in brood chambers.

Weather cloudy 16C @14:30

Hive#1

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (Shallow under Deep under 14×12 Foundation)
Queen (Yellow/2014) seen
Shallow
Added box of foundation under
Deep
No Queen Cells
? frames with brood no eggs
? frames with stores
No room to lay
14×12
No Queen cells
? frames with brood no eggs, chalkbrood. Tested for EFB – negative
? frame with stores
No room to lay
Supers: 2
Top super maybe ready for extraction next week
Temper:8

Hive#2

Inspected by: David H
Brood Chamber:2 (14×12)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) seen.
14×12
2 queen cells removed
4 frames of brood
5 frames of stores
1 frame to be drawn plus 1 added (box short of 1 frame. Dummy board used and space packed with 1 deep foundation frame as interim measure).
Shallow Brood Bailey Change
3 frames with brood
5 frames with stores, de-capped to encourage taking up.
Tape blocking original entrance replaced as it had fallen off.
Supers: 3
Added shallow of foundation
Temper:9

Hive#3

Not inspected – check for new queen laying 31st May

Hive#4

Inspected by: Anne B
Brood Chamber (Double Deep)
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Lower Deep
0 queen cells
3 frames with brood, pollen barrier moved out by 2 frames
2 frames with stores
Room for laying OK needs 2 additional frames
Upper Deep
0 queen cells
4 frames with brood
2 frames with stores
Room for laying OK
Super: 1
Temper:10

Hive#5

Inspected by: Tom B
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen
No queen cells
5 frames with brood all stages including eggs.
3 frames with stores
3 frames room
Supers: 2
Added super of foundation
Temper:8

Hive#6

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Shallow over Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen believed swarmed.
Deep
5 unsealed queen cells taken down
4 frames with brood
3 frame with stores
3 empty frames
Shallow
4 sealed queen cells
6 frames with brood
4 frames with stores
2 empty drawn frames, room to lay OK
Supers:2
Top super full, lower super 75% full.
Varroa Drop Count:7/7
Temper:8

Hive#7

Inspected by: John M
Brood Chamber (Double Shallow)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen believed swarmed.
Lower Shallow
1 sealed queen cell left on frame 6
3 frames with sealed brood
? frames with stores
? empty frames
Upper Shallow
3 sealed queen cells. removed
? frames with brood
? frames with stores
? empty drawn frame
Supers: 1
Temper:7

Hive#8

Inspected by: John M
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Queen cell used to assemble nucleus#15F in nucleus box 4
? frames with brood including eggs 8-? frames used to make up nucleus
? frames with stores4-? frames used to make up nucleus
? frames empty. Room for laying OK
Supers: 2
Temper: 7

Mating Nuclei

#15A
Assembled 3rd May from Hive#3
Emergency queen cells removed 10th May
Due for first check for laying 24th May not checked

#15B
Assembled 10th May from Hive#3
Due for first check for laying 31st May

#15C
Assembled 10th May from Hive #3
Due for first check for laying 31st May

#15D
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6
Due for first check for laying 13th June

#15E
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6
Due for first check for laying 13th June

#15F
Assembled 24th May from Hive#8
Due for first check for laying 13th June

Actions:
Add 1 frames to 14×12 on Hive#2
Add 2 frames to lower deep on Hive#4

Trustee Visit 2oth May

On arrival found swarm in high branches of dead tree. Returned flowing day with ladder but swarm gone.

Hive#2

Inspected by: Brad D
Brood Chamber:2 (14×12)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) seen.
Nucleus set up based on previous deep brood box.
14×12
6 queen cells removed
4 frames of brood
5 frames of stores
1 frame to be drawn (box short of 2 frames. Dummy board used and space packed with 1 deep foundation frame as interim measure).
Shallow Brood Bailey Change
Set up second entrance above shallow and queen excluder. Blocked original entrance
8 frames with brood
Supers: 2
Temper:9

Apiary:17th May

Weather overcast, 15C @14:30

Hive#1

Inspected by: Liz H
Brood Chamber (Single Deep under 14×12 Foundation)
Queen (Yellow/2014) seen
Deep
No Queen Cells
3 frames with brood no eggs
6 frames with stores
Room to lay.
14×12
No Queen cells
2 frames with brood including eggs
5 frame with stores
4 frames foundation
Supers: 2
Temper:9

Hive#2

Inspected by: David P
Brood Chamber:2 (14×12)+(Deep under Shallow)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) seen.
14×12
1 Queen Cells
4 frames of brood, eggs and young larvae
2 frames of stores
2 frames to be drawn (box short of 2 frames. Dummy board used and space packed with 2 deep foundation frames as interim measure).
Queen Excluder
Deep
7 Queen Cells.
4 frames with brood
5 frames with stores
1 drawn and 1 foundation frame.
Shallow
1 Queen Cells.
5 frames with brood
7 frames with stores
Supers: 1
Temper:5

Hive#3

Not inspected – check for new queen laying 31st May

Hive#4

Inspected by: Anne B
Brood Chamber (Double Deep)
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Lower Deep
No Queen Cells
8 frames with brood including eggs
3 frames with stores
No room for laying.
Upper Deep
Added from stores, missing 2 frames
Super: 1
Temper:10

Hive#5

Inspected by: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen
No Queen Cells
6 frames with brood all stages including eggs.
3 frames with stores
2 frames room
Supers: 1
Temper:9

Hive#6

Inspected by: Peter R
Brood Chamber (Shallow over Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Deep
6 Queen Cells, made up 2 mating nucs, took down rest
5 frames with brood including eggs chalkbrood and sacbrood, added further 4 frames to mating nucs.
1 frame with stores, added further 2 frames to mating nucs.
5 empty frames
Shallow
No Queen Cells
6 frames with brood including eggs
3 frames with stores
2 empty drawn frames, room to lay OK
Supers:2
Top super full
Varroa Drop Count:30/7
Temper:10

Hive#7

Inspected by: Graham R
Brood Chamber (Double Shallow)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
Lower Shallow
1 Queen Cell removed
5 frames with brood and eggs
4 frames with stores
2 empty drawn frames
Upper Shallow
6 Queen Cells. 3 removed 3 left
6 frames with brood
4 frames with stores
1 empty drawn frame
Supers: 1
1 frame removed as cramped
Temper:10

Hive#8

Inspected by: Graham R
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Queen Cells removed
8 frames with brood including eggs.
4 frames with stores
Room for laying OK
Supers: 2
Frames arranged to allow drawing
Temper: 10

Mating Nuclei

#15A
Assembled 3rd May from Hive#3
Emergency queen cells removed 10th May
Due for first check for laying 24th May

#15B
Assembled 10th May from Hive#3
Due for first check for laying 31st May

#15C
Assembled 10th May from Hive #3
Due for first check for laying 31st May

#15D
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6
Due for Emergency Queen Cell check 24th May

#15E
Assembled 17th May from Hive#6
Due for Emergency Queen Cell check 24th May

Actions:
Add 2 frames to 14×12 on Hive#2
Put Deep and Shallow brood boxes under Bailey floor configuration on Hive#2
Add 2 frames to upper deep on Hive#4
Put Drone culling frame in Hive#6
Check Nuc#15A for laying
Check Nucs#15D/E for Emergency Queen Cells

Trustee Visit 13th May

Richard kindly cut the grass.

EFB false alarm

The sample taken by SBI Debbie Burton at Association Apiary proved negative.  The standstill order is lifted

Apiary:10th May-SBI Inspection All Clear

The Apiary was temporarily under a standstill order due to a suspected case of EFB in the last hive (#1) to be inspected by our Seasonal Bee Inspector Debbie Burton on Sunday 10th May. Although passing two Lateral Flow Device tests Debbie sent a frame to the National Bee Unit for further analysis as she thought the presence of Bacillus alvei may have masked the LFD tests. Debbie later advised on Wednesday 12th that the Apiary had been given the all-clear.

Weather sunny, 16C @14:30

Hive#1

Inspected by: Debbie B
Brood Chamber (Single Deep under 14×12 Foundation)
Queen (Yellow/2014) not seen
Deep
No Queen Cells
7 frames with brood including eggs, chalkbrood and suspected EFB see above.
4 frames with stores
Room to lay.
14×12
No Queen cells
2 frames with brood including eggs
1 frame with stores
9 frames foundation
Supers: 2
Varroa Drop Count: 4/7 plus waxmoth
Temper:9

Hive#2

Inspected by: Debbie B
Further manipulation: Brad D
Brood Chamber:2 (14×12)+(Deep under Shallow)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) not seen.
14×12
As now being used and queenright as indicated by bee behaviour 14×12 box moved from top of brood chamber stack to bottom and separated with a queen excluder from the deep and shallow above.
0 Queen Cells
3 frames of brood, eggs and young larvae
2 frames of stores
4 frames to be drawn (box short of 2 frames. Dummy board used and space packed with 2 deep foundation frames as interim measure).
Queen Excluder
Deep
2 Unsealed Queen Cells removed.
6 frames with brood including eggs
3 frames with stores
1 drawn and 1 foundation frame.
Shallow
8 Unsealed Queen cells removed.
7 frames with brood including eggs
4 frames with stores
Supers: 1
Varroa Drop Count:18/7
Temper:7

Hive#3

Inspected by: Debbie B
Further manipulation: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Deep)
Queen (Blue/2015) not seen
2 mating nuclei made up from frames and queen cells in previous second deep.
Many Sealed Queen Cells removed, 1 left
5 frames with brood mostly sealed
4 frames with stores
2 foundation frames
Supers: 2
Varroa Drop Count:0/7
Temper: 7

Hive#4

Inspected by: Debbie B
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Deep
No Queen Cells
5 frames with brood including eggs and sacbrooand chalkbrood
4 frames with stores
2 frames drawn, room for laying OK.
Super: 1
Varroa Drop Count:6/7
Temper:10

Hive#5

Inspected by: Debbie B
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen
No Queen Cells
6 frames with brood all stages including eggs. Chalkbrood and Sacbrood
4 frames with stores
2 frames room
Supers: 1
Varroa Drop Count:2/7
Temper:10

Hive#6

Inspected by: Debbie B
Brood Chamber (Shallow over Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Deep
No Queen Cells
9 frames with brood including eggs chalkbrood and sacbrood
2 frames with stores
No empty drawn frames
Shallow
No Queen Cells
6 frames with brood including eggs
2 frames with stores
3 empty drawn frames, room to lay OK
Supers:2
Varroa Drop Count:15/7
Temper:10

Hive#7

Inspected by: Debbie B
Brood Chamber (Double Shallow)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
Lower Shallow
0 Queen Cells
5 frames with brood and eggs
4 frames with stores
3 empty drawn frames
Upper Shallow
No Queen Cells
7 frames with brood
4 frames with stores
1 empty drawn frame
Supers: 1
Varroa Drop Count:2/7
Temper:6

Hive#8

Inspected by: Debbie B
Further manipulation: Richard W
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
1 Queen Cell removed
7 frames with brood including eggs. Chalkbrood and sacbrood.
3 frames with stores
1 empty drawn frame
Supers: 2
Added shallow of foundation
Varroa Drop Count:6/7
Temper: 10

Mating Nuclei

#15A
Assembled 3rd May from Hive#3
Emergency queen cells removed 10th May
Due for first check for laying 24th May

#15B
Assembled 10th May from Hive#3
Due for first check for laying 31st May

#15C
Assembled 10th May from Hive #3
Due for first check for laying 31st May

Apiary:3rd May-Bank Holiday Weekend

Weather sunny and windy 14C @14:30.
All 8 hives were inspected. 1 x 3-frame mating nucleus created with sealed queen cell.

Queen cells in 3 hives no swarms.
Queens were seen in 4 hives including a new queen in Hive#3.

Hive#1

Inspected by: Liz HApiary 150503 Hive1
Audience level: Beginner
Brood Chamber (Single Deep under 14×12 Foundation)
Queen (Yellow/2014) seen
Deep
No Queen Cells
9 frames with brood
3 frames with stores
Room ok
14×12
10 foundation frames
1 frame drawn
Supers: 2
Added shallow box
Varroa Drop Count: Not done – chalkbrood debris
Temper:9

Hive#2

Inspected by: Tom BApiary 150503 Hive2
Audience level: Novice
Brood Chamber (Deep under Shallow under 14×12 Foundation)
Queen (Green/2014-Clipped) not seen.
Deep
10 Unsealed Queen Cells removed, 1 left.
8 frames with brood  few 3 day old eggs and very little unsealed brood plus 1 frame of sealed brood and bees donated to Hive#5
2 frames with stores
1 foundation frame but room to lay.
Shallow
2 frames with brood.
4 frames with stores
14×12
Foundation frames being drawn – 50% each side
Supers: 1
Varroa Drop Count:Blown away by wind!
Temper:9

Hive#3

Inspected by: Brad DApiary 150303 Hive3
Audience level: Beginner
Brood Chamber (Double Deep)
New queen marked Blue (very small being courted by workers).
Lower Deep
2 Sealed Queen Cells removed
8 frames with brood in all stages no eggs, plus donated frame and nurse bees to Hive#5
1 frames with stores
1 empty drawn frame plus 2 foundation frames
Upper Deep
2 Sealed Queen cells removed, plus 1 to mating nucleus
5 frames with brood. in all stages no eggs, plus 2 frames to mating nucleus
2 frames with stores, plus 1 to mating nucleus
4 frames foundation
Supers: 2
Added box of foundation under existing heavy super
Varroa Drop Count:2/7
Temper: 7

Hive#4

Inspected by: Hilary HApiary 150503 Hive4
Audience level: Bee Basic
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Frames aligned ‘warm’ way.
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
Deep
No Queen Cells
5 frames with brood
? frames with stores
Room for laying OK.
Super: 1
Varroa Drop Count:10/7
Temper:10

Hive#5

Inspected by: Hilary H
Audience level: Bee Basic
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen
No Queen Cells
3 frames with brood all stages  including eggs. Frame of sealed brood added from Hives#2&3
3 frames with stores
Room OK
Supers: 1
Varroa Drop Count:1/7
Temper:7

Hive#6

Inspected by: David P
Audience level: Beginner
Brood Chamber (Shallow over Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
Deep
No Queen Cells
9 frames with brood no eggs
2? frames with stores
1 ?empty drawn frame
Shallow
No Queen Cells
3 frames with brood including eggs
8? frames with stores
1? empty drawn frame, room to lay OK
Supers:2
Varroa Drop Count:10/7
Temper:9
Put shallow frame in deep box to allow drone culling next week.

Hive#7

Inspected by: Peter R
Audience level: Beginner
Brood Chamber (Double Shallow)
Queen (Green/2014) not seen.
Lower Shallow
2 Queen Cells removed
5 frames with brood and eggs
2 frames with stores
2 empty drawn frames
Upper Shallow
No Queen Cells
7 frames with brood
4 frames with stores
Room OK
Supers: 1
New box added above queen excluder
Varroa Drop Count:0/7
Temper:6

Hive#8

Inspected by: David PApiary 160503 Hive8
Audience level: Beginner
Brood Chamber (Single Deep)
Queen (Green/2014) seen.
No Queen Cells
7 frames with brood, no eggs seen.
4 frames with stores
Room for laying OK
Supers: 1
Varroa Drop Count:4/7
Temper: 8

May Forage

The wet weather that has blown in with May may have kept the bees in their hives but it has only increased the forage available – now the orchard floor has changed from primrose yellow to bluebell blue and wild-strawberry white. The pear and plums have given way to a mass of pink and white apple blossom –  full of bees at 6.30pm!

In the woods the Acers are in full flower and the Horse-chestnut, the signal to start hive inspections when I began beekeeping a dozen years ago, is now in full flower.  The fields and hedgerows are bursting with blossom.  The bees have a bumper forage crop and if the weather is kind the hives will be well supplied.

Apiary Pictures 26th April

The 26th April might have been grey and cold but everyone attending was engrossed in beekeeping

IMGP5039

the Bee-Basic candidates polishing up their knowledge with Education Officer Hilary Hayward

IMGP5026 IMGP5029 IMGP5035 IMGP5037

and eveyone else examining the bees progress over a week.