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Sunday, 3 May 2009

Honey, and a new nucleus

I have taken four frames of brood out of the brood box, put them in a nucleus box and tranferred the colony to my friends D's hive (see previous blog).

All went according to plan, except that I could not find the queen that son Joe and I had taken so much effort to find and mark (see previous blog).

I'm pretty sure she's not on the frames that I gave to D. I gave her a couple of frames with big, fat, sealed queen cells that will now hatch into a new queen (all being well).

But my hive is without a queen - unless she's hiding. And there're the dilemma. There are some more nice queen cells in the hive (see photo below). But if the queen is in there, they may swarm when the queens in the cells hatch out.
So do I destroy the queen cells to prevent a swarm (if she's there, but hidden) or let them hatch to get a new queen (if I am short of a queen)? Hmmm - no idea. Time to phone a friend.

The good news is that there is a load of honey - 10 frames are full and 80% is capped. See photo below. The capped honey has a white wax covering. The uncapped honey is glistening in the light. I need it all to be sealed before I can harvest it.

All photos were taken by son Tom. This last one is a cracker. You can see why he's a Guardian award winning photographer and got an A at A Level Photography.

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