Once again, the bee-keeping season is upon us! It was a sunny afternoon, perfect to begin tackling the list of tasks that needed to be dealt with at the apiary. With the smell of freshly-cut grass in the air, we set-out to work. As always, the status of each of the hives needed to be noted. Careful attention and maintenance was required for the weaker and the newly-established colonies. Below is a synopsis of the condition of each hive.
Hive 1: It appeared that a relatively high number of bees were trafficking in and out of the hive, rendering it in a relatively stable condition. The decision was to salvage the colony, and not terminate it.
Hive 2: This hive, previously thought to be in relatively poor condition, seemed to be doing well, with a brood spotted. Furthermore, there were frames that were filled with some honey. An additional super was added for expansion.
Hive 3: Being a stronger colony, this hive was also expanded with the addition of a super (supers were filled with frames holding new foundations and established combs in an alternating fashion). A queen excluder was not installed.
Hive 4: The hive seemed to be in a probable unstable condition. Therefore, there appeared to be a possibility of swarming.
Hive 5: The condition of Hive 5 seemed to be improving, with the observation that the number of bees in the hive may have been increasing. It was still not categorized as a strong colony, however. Despite its previous status, the brood, and subsequently the queen, were located.
Hive 6: In place of the hive that was removed (see above report), a brand new nuc (nucleus) was set-up. Three established frames were moved from Hive 4 into the nuc, as well as individual queen cells.This will require careful monitoring to ensure its survival and stability.
Hive 7: The condition of the hive was very good and brood was located. Some honey was found in a few frames as well. This was consistent with previous observations form this hive.
Hive 9: The status of this hive was previously noted to be top notch! Upon inspection of the hive, there appeared to be a swarming possibility. In this case, swarming may be initiated by the high population. An indication of this was observed in the observation of several queen cells that were produced. Also, there was not much honey found in the combs.
Hive 10: A nuc was established in the place of Hive 10, with frames provided from Hive 9. Brood combs were placed in the centre with honey frames on each side.
Conclusions: A number of nucs may be initiated in the coming weeks (with resources supplied mostly form Hive 9).