Chronicles of a Novice Beekeeper – Ep.31

The new supers and hive that were ordered last month, were painted and promptly put into use. I moved the strongest Nuc into the new hive and they seem to have taken to their new home; on last inspection, they’ve almost filled the brood box and are filling a super (with previously drawn comb). The additional supers were added to all colonies as two in particular were in need of additional space.

One of my Nucs had a drone laying queen, which was something I’d read about but never actually seen before. At first glance I wasn’t sure if it was a laying worker, but I didn’t see multiple eggs in a cell, and I did eventually find the queen. She was rather small. She wasn’t laying much, but everything was drone brood and the comb which had previously been even was now quite irregular with drone brood in worker cells. Unfortunately, she had to be removed and I shook out those bees.

One of my favourite colonies which was very strong and had a lovely temperament suddenly lost its queen! I don’t know how or why, or even if I’d accidentally damaged her during an inspection? When I tested with a frame of eggs, the bees started to build queen cells. I used the newspaper technique to unify the colony with a Nuc which had a mated queen and I’ll be checking tomorrow to see if it’s worked. (Fingers crossed!).

My last Nuc remaining was robbed and attacked by wasps and bees. It looks like half the bees were killed and all the stores were gone! I’ve rehomed it into a polynuc and removed it from the apiary for now to give it a chance to build up. As a result of this incident I thought I’d better put entrances on the smaller hives.

Yesterday five supers of honey were extracted from three colonies. Two of which needed the space as they already had four supers each. I have no additional supers now and I cannot order anymore. (I think I’d end up with domestic issues if I did!).

Denali Enns