Stop. Super time.

By | May 19, 2012

The Walmer Gardens colony is doing well.

A good full hive crawling with bees. You can see here each of the bee hive frames, which are inspected one at a time, without dismantling or destroying the hive.

A good full hive crawling with bees. You can see here each of the bee hive frames, which are inspected one at a time, without dismantling or destroying the hive.

They’ve grown from a 5 frame nucleus into a healthy colony with brood in all stages, lots of active bees, pollen and nectar. They now occupy all 10 frames in the brood box – time to put an extension on the hive so they have more space.

Taking a moment before opening the hive showed quite a lot of congestion, with bees trying to get in and out of the entrance restricting block so we’ve removed that, allowing a larger front door. The queue did give the opportunity to see bees with their leggy suitcases full of pollen. That’s a great sign as it means the bees are out flying and finding natural food sources. Pollen is a source of protein for the colony and developing bees.

The differing colours of stored pollen indicate the different flowers the bees are visiting.

The differing colours of stored pollen indicate the different flowers the bees are visiting.

The bees were walking over all the brood frames, with developing brood in many frames so it was time to super them up.
The super provides and additional separate chamber to store honey. No one likes to eat honey with developing larvae in..

Often hard to spot, we marked the queen with a white marking on her back. the colour also helps identify her age

Often hard to spot, we marked the queen with a white marking on her back. the colour also helps identify her age

 

 

 

We also managed to mark the queen with a small white dot, making her easy to spot and also identifying her age. Its always reassuring to  see the queen, as without her the hive will act in an undesirable way. Queens remain productive for  about three years, so it’s good to know how old they are – it can help you predict, and interpret colony behaviour.

 


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