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  • Philip Closier

Warming Up

The weather is still very mixed, but the trend is upwards I am pleased to report.

After nearly two weeks of limited flying time for the bees including a bit of snow I got a pile of supers up to the apiary and while still not going for full inspections just lifted the crown boards, then checked a couple of frames for eggs and brood.

As you can see there is a good spread of bees across the nest and the laying patterns are good. We are also seeing drones and drone brood.

A couple of weeks ago I started putting on second brood boxes and those that needed them have moved upwards.... the above image is an upper brood box.

So yesterday I put on some queen excluders and a few supers. The reasoning behind this is that the capped brood is emerging and we will see an increase in some hives of up to perhaps 2000 new bees per day.

These young bees will bee looking for work over the next couple of weeks...and wax making is one really important job. We also have increasing amounts of nectar coming in.

Bees without work and space will find another job.... they will trigger a swarm...

It’s a fine balance you have to achieve between keeping them warm and not over expanding.

Each colony is different.... so don’t just add boxes because!

40 years ago I used to drive past the house of another beekeeper to and from work, and watched his three hives go from single brood boxes to sky scrapers in a matter of a month or so.

Feeling rather inadequate I eventually stopped and asked if I could see his “super hives”... looking for knowledge!

He proudly invited me to look.... I got a real surprise... he had a book that told him to add supers at weekly intervals throughout the summer...he had not actually inspected his hives...

At the bottom of the tower was a brood box of rather cold and sickly looking bees.... about 3 frames...he had read the book and assumed you just pile them on.....

Happy Beekeeping.

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