Sunday, 6 October 2013

End of year

It was a late start for the bees this year, April was freezing. Then Jul and August were lovely.
My strongest nuc from the year before never got going, so after the bee inspector had checked for AFB in July I disposed of it. Thought I would wait until the bees swarmed to get me back up to 5 colonies, of course they never did!
Came back from our great hols with Gill & Tim at the end of August and one colony had sealed QC's. I destroyed them without thinking, so a week later there were more. Quick check today in colony 4, saw the new queen and sealed worker cells. For the previous 3 weeks it has had the old marked queen and the new queen as well as sealed drone cells, so I guess the old one was failing. I did not see the old queen today but I did not go through the whole hive. There was still drones in the colony, very late!
I've taken 60lb of honey this year mostly from one hive, the 5th position.
All 4 colonies have been fed and seem to have plenty of stores.
Colony 3 was treaded to a shook swarm after the inspectors (to help clear out chalk and bald brood) visit and is now going into winter in a poly hive. I need to shook swarm the other 3 colonies early next year and raise a fifth.