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Monday, 22 April 2013

First inspection of 2013

Last year (2012), there were swarms before the end of March.  Temperatures of 17c+ throughout that month encouraged the growth of colonies.

Not so this year: the first day that is was warm enough to open the hives was Thursday, April 18th April.

Good news, and not so good.  Normal for beekeeping.

My polyhives are doing fine.  I found and marked queens in four hives.

My polynuc is a mystery.  There seems to be new bees (i.e. looking young and furry, rather than bald and black) but no sign of the queen, and no eggs.  So I think she is recently departed. I will inspect again in a few days.

The two wooden hives both are queenless, with laying workers (only brood is drone brood, recognisable because it is lumpy rather than smooth.  So that saves me the planned task of shaking the colonies in the wooden hives into their nice new warm polyhives.

So I am back to three (maybe four) hives.

The weather in 2012 dashed my hopes of building up my stock to 12 hives.

Hey, ho.  It's a new year.