It’s been worrying me this week that I wouldn’t get down to check the bees. Life has been hectic as it so often is. Although the weather forecast wasn’t very hopeful I decided to risk it this morning and as I had plans for lunchtime I left home before 9 to get an early start.
Miss C is much braver these days and did spend some time standing beside me, holding the smoker and looking in the first three hives I opened.
Opening hives does release an awful lot of bees. The fear of being stung is one consideration but more unsettling is the sheer noise of thousands of bees wings buzzing. It can be very claustrophobic. Miss C managed for almost an hour before she wandered off to take some photos. Unfortunately you have to remove your gloves to use the phone hence the long distance shots!
One of my hives was at the point of swarming and I decided to remove the capped queen cells and introduce more space by putting in extra comb. The next hive was laying more drones than normal which indicates the Queen is failing. Having quickly located and dispatched her I used a frame with a lovely queen cell on it from the other hive. Only time will tell if it worked but I might be lucky.
On getting home I was able to take some lovely close up photos of another removed frame.
This is a sealed queen cell. I opened it (below) and above the grub you can see the royal jelly. This is fed to all bees at first egg stage but only to the queen longer term.
I hope you can make out the eggs in this shot.
The slightly older brood here.
This frame has brood of all ages. On the bottom right is the wax capped brood. The larvae will pupate in here and chew their way out to emerge as a new 🐝.