This hive was causing problems this summer and I combined a nuc with the weak colony in the WBC. After 4 weeks this colony has grown into the brood box and is looking good. It is looking strong and healthy enough to go into the autumn with a good chance of lasting the winter. Shame we did not get much honey off this site this year but at least we didn’t loose the bees.
The daffodils have opened and the chill has gone from the air so it is no surprise to see our landing boards full of bees laden with pollen hurrying into the hive to get that valuable protein back to the newborns. This activity suggests to me that all is well inside the hive for this time of year.
We will need to wait till it warms up a bit more to get inside the hive and have a good look around but with the large amount of pollen I saw this morning I can assume that there is a hungry brood and therefore a good laying queen inside the hive.
This is all good news and means that this hive has survived another winter.
After yesterday’s inspection from the lovely man from the Central Science Laboratory it was discovered we had a drone laying queen in the WBC hive therefore the colony was on it way to certain death. Gladly though I had a nuc with a small colony of bees that I had recovered from a secondary swarm a few weeks earlier and was therefore able to use to give new life to the failing WBC hive.
To combine the two hives I took all the contents of the nuc including the queen and placed them into a super on top of the brood box of the WBC separated by a sheet of newspaper. (I had previously taken out the drone laying queen). Overnight the queens pheremone will spread throughout the combined colonies and hopefully the inhabitants will then happily live side by side. The bees will tear away the paper until the workers are free to move between the two sets of frames.
This morning I had a look at the entrance and everything seemed to be normal. No fighting or dead bees.
Tomorrow I will find the queen and put her in the downstairs brood box and give them a feed. Hopefully there is enough time for the colony to expand in numbers before the autumn. Cutting it fine.
Battersea – I was expecting a super full of honey but instead I got a queen in the super. At least she is a laying queen proven by the brood over a couple of frames.
There didn’t seem to be many bees though so I reckon they swarmed when we were away on holiday.
I replaced a couple of the empty brood frames with the two of the super frames that had the brood on them and placed the queen back downstairs. Leaving the hive with just one super.
I had a look in the brood box and found eggs and learvae so the queen is doing her job well. Baffled as to why I would have seen her on the outside of the hive.