An interim republic

From Simon's beekeeping blog. Comments are welcome via email.


The colony was fairly active today — lots of bees at the entrance and clusters of bees hanging off the frames and transferring food to each other. The inspection confirmed a lot of what we saw last week. The queen has gone, and the supersedure cells have increased in both size and number, doubling to twenty since last week. Small clusters of supersedure cells appeared in the middle of nearly all of the frames, nearly all closed, but a couple open with visible larvae inside. The brood was pretty much all capped and mostly worker brood, maybe 1.5 framefuls in total, in a healthy-looking pattern. However, there's no eggs or larvae in there, so the colony hasn't seen a queen for ten or so days.

The amount of stores hasn't increased much, maybe two framefuls, though there's a little more pollen. I'm trying out feeding with sugar syrup for now, so they got 500g sugar in 500ml water in a rapid feeder — remember to make sure the lid is secure if you use one.

A couple of day ago I stopped at the apiary and had a quick look at the bottom board. There was a moth, but not a wax moth as far as I can tell. There was also a single 5cm long string of faeces, but we couldn't find any signs of pests in the hive.

Despite being active, my bees were fairly docile today, buzzing only a little after being given a few hard downward shakes. They've become necessary now to be able to see any of the comb for all the bees in residence at 9am. Perhaps we should inspect later in the day instead. Dave and D's bees were very relaxed as they worked away, building up stores for winter. It was the model of a chilled-out inspection, and we saw the queen on the central frame too. I hope I'll get to spot a new queen too in my hive next week.

(Thanks to D for the photo!)

Queen seen?Queen cellsBroodframefuls of stores# available frames for broodHealthEstimated mitesTemper / docilityFeed given# supers addedWeather
C120✔ 0e2l81l 1:1018°C ☁