Where to start? Perhaps with the miraculous power of aloe vera to soothe a fingertip burn from a smoker. I’m tempted to grow some at every apiary I visit, or in the car perhaps? My poor old hands aren’t going to survive beekeeping at this rate.
But more importantly, BEES. I met a recent addition to our group and a slightly more seasoned member at our Barsham Apiary in glorious sunshine. These were the 2 hives I was concerned I had inadvertently lost Queens from at the last visit. As it turns out, the first hive was thriving and will need another super putting on at our next visit. There was also plenty of brood and eggs. In fact they were a model hive today with not a queen cell to be seen and lots of stores being taken in.
But my first real beekeeping sadness was to come. There was indeed no evidence of superhive Queen, no eggs or uncapped brood anywhere in the hive. There was one solitary sealed Queen cell, so fingers crossed she will be the saviour of the hive. I’m so glad we have those pictures of my favourite Queen from last time – before I lost her. A hard lesson learnt.
At the Flixton Apiary Queen Choas reigned as usual. The colony overwintered in a nuc box is rapidly expanding and thriving, eggs were present alongside 2 Queen cells with larvae in, whilst the ‘problem hive’ that built Queen cell after Queen cell last year was still eggless and broodless so I put the frame with Queen cells on from the other hive into it. My logic being that the queen larvae were older than the eggs that were also present and so the first hive already had a functioning Queen. More fingers crossed.
The last colony was looking alright, not much expanded since last time, but some eggs were present. There were 4 Queen cells in this one – unsealed with larvae in. Lets see what happens.