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Keep up to date by following the inspection reports below...

Extraction Day 25/3/15

posted Mar 27, 2015, 12:12 AM by Andrew Wootton   [ updated Mar 27, 2015, 4:56 PM ]

First the stealthy liberators removed the supers, trying not to upset the bees too much. 
Then the team set to work on some beautifully capped frames (6 deeps and 12 ideals).
Uncapping in a flash with a swish of the electric knife, then into the extractor and turn, turn, turn. 
Some of the darker (?ti tree) honey is hard to spin out. But the young team members (Arana pictured and Finn) set a superb example. Then straight through the filter and into the settling tank.
Should be about 15kg of gorgeous honey. Only a couple of stings, it's good to give the bees a sporting chance.


Hive Inspection 4/1/15

posted Jan 3, 2015, 10:53 PM by Andrew Wootton

Present: Andrew, Charlie, Chris and Angie.
Hive 3: Now OK with unsealed brood.  Brood chamber (single deep) now with all 8 frames in use and good number of bees. Added WSP super to allow room for expansion.  Perhaps this should be a deep to allow double deep brood chamber with WSP super?!
Hive 2: 2 deeps with top one having 5 frames in use.  Foundation in remaining 3 frames still to be drawn, no action required at present.
Hive 1: 2 deeps, 1 WSP super and 1 ideal super.  Ideal not in use.  WSP super has ideal frames in and so full of burr comb.  Removed this and will replace box with the correct depth tomorrow.

December inspection (7/12/14)

posted Dec 8, 2014, 2:17 PM by Andrew Wootton   [ updated Dec 8, 2014, 2:17 PM ]

3 new WSP supers have been purchased and assembled, complete with frames.  They are being painted and Charlie has set the ball rolling and the bar extremely high!

There is honey on the way.
Hive 1 - 6 frames with 2 capped
Hive 2 - 4 frames honey, uncapped
Hive 3 - queenless and with only drone brood (? laying workers?). Took a frame of unsealed brood from (2) and added it in middle of brood nest.  To repeat in 1 week.

Better tidings

posted Oct 13, 2014, 12:19 AM by Andrew Wootton

12/10/14 Rechecked the split and it is queenright!  Plenty of unsealed brood and even some sealed.  So we must have missed the eggs the week before as they must already have been there.

As for the original hive, it's too early to say.  The queencell transplant may have worked. Here is the evidence.































Looks to me as though the bees cleaned up my ragged knifework and made a beautiful queen cell which has hatched.  I'm assuming that the brown rim inside is the remains of the pupal cocoon.  So we need to wait a week or so and see if this is correct and we get a laying queen.

Split Check - problems!

posted Oct 6, 2014, 12:17 AM by Andrew Wootton   [ updated Oct 6, 2014, 2:17 PM ]

6/10/14 Bee Group Meeting
Checked split for eggs but none in evidence!  On double checking the date of the split and counting forward, it is just possible that the queen has mated and is a bit slow to lay.  We should check again Sunday 12th and if there are no larvae then will need to requeen.

Also inspected the queenright hive and failed to find the queen or eggs or unsealed larvae! Perhaps marking the queen's wings has caused them to supercede her.

Faye and I went back later with a couple of surplus queen cells from my hive and added one to each hive.  Its very doubtful that these will hatch successfully as these are cells from the face of the comb (rather than hanging from the bottom) and were thus very difficult to cut out without damaging the larvae.  While we were there we discovered the previously marked pink winged queen on the ground in a clump of bees.  She was in extremely bedraggled state and was rejected when we placed her on the landing board.  This appears consistent with the hive having superceded her previously.


Some burr comb that was cut out of a frame drawn crookedly. The honey wasn't wasted - delicious!

Queen Cell Check

posted Sep 13, 2014, 11:18 PM by Andrew Wootton

Day 6 following the split, so queen cells should be present and mostly capped by now.



Here's one that is still uncapped, you can just see the larva.

And in the other hive, here are the results of my inexpert marking.  Anyway, the bees haven't rejected her.  This hive is full of bees since all the foragers have returned here.  We added another box as things are getting pretty full.  Baited the bees up by swapping one of the frames from below.


September Swarm Control Split

posted Sep 8, 2014, 1:13 AM by Andrew Wootton   [ updated Sep 8, 2014, 4:34 PM ]

Inspected hive with Kirsten, Faye, Russell, Charlie and Andrew present.
Hive is very strong with top box absolutely full of capped honey.  Decided that a split should be done to pre-empt swarming, which will be inevitable with running out of space.  At this stage, no queen cells but plenty of capped drone brood showing they are getting ready to reproduce.  Found the queen (!) and marked her with pink paint.  Just as I went to put a discreet dot on the thorax while holding her gently by the head/legs in my fingers, the texta erupted a great splodge of paint which totally covered her wings!  Hope the other bees don't mind.
So because we had the queen, we did a split that was rather like an artificial swarm - Q+frame she was on+frame of pollen+frame of honey in new box with drawn comb relocated to original hive site.   Remaining frames of eggs, brood, honey stores and nurse bees in old box moved to one side.  Foragers all return to the new queen-right box (cf. swarm).  Nurse bees raise emergency queen cells in well resourced hive (well that's the theory).
Will check for Q-cells in 1 week.

Inventory

posted May 17, 2014, 7:13 PM by Andrew Wootton

Checking through our stores, we have:
 
Brood
1 double deep hive (in use)
1 double deep hive (spare) with 8xfoundation, 8xdrawn comb

Supers
1 deep with foundation
1 Manley with wired frames
1 Ideal with wired frames

This will allow us to run two hives with supers for honey, with one using the combination of the Manley and Ideal.  We need to install foundation in these at our next meeting.

New Extractor!

posted May 17, 2014, 7:08 PM by Andrew Wootton

Thanks to a generous donation from Charles Birt of Briar Hill, we now have a 2 frame extractor.  Judging from the past performance of our hard-working bees, it's going to get a lot of use.

Date: 17/5/14

posted May 17, 2014, 1:28 AM by Andrew Wootton   [ updated May 17, 2014, 1:49 AM ]

Temperature:    21
Present:    Andrew, Faye
Traffic at Entrance:    High
Bees Bringing in Pollen:    Yes
Eggs:    Not spotted (cloudy)
Open Brood:    Yes
Sealed Brood:    Yes, 5 frames
Open Nectar:    Yes
Capped Honey:    Yes,  9 frames
Queen Spotted?    No
Queen Cells:    No
Drones:    One spotted
Temperament:    Calm
Disease:    One ?small hive beetle/?earwig in beetle trap
Comments:    Top box full of capped honey. Lots of bees and plenty of brood. More than enough stores for winter.
If anything we could  extract another 4 frames, although now will leave well alone. 
Action Needed?    Take inventory and plan split for start of next season.

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