|Unstacking the hive|
|The unstacked boxes|
|Bees on the frames|
Let’s take a look at the frame of comb, and see if she’s been busy:
So, I have plenty of workers, but where’s the queen…?
|Can you spot the queen?|
This is a closer look at a different frame – this one has more empty cells. If the queen is on this comb, then she will methodically go through each empty cell, and lay an egg in the centre of each one. So, is she here? Yes! – if you look carefully you should be able to spot her – she is longer than the worker bees, and darker in colour.
But of course, the big draw of beekeeping is honey. I’m going to have a look at a frame in one of the other boxes, nearer the top of the hive to see how much has been collected:
On to the other hive now. This one didn’t have a queen until recently – but the workers have made a new one, and I’m hoping she’s hatched out within the last couple of days. If she has, she will be quite shy, so this is a very quick inspection to check that she has hatched and all is well. As soon as I’ve seen her, I’ll put the hive back together and leave her alone.
Good news – I spotted her on this frame. Unfortunately, I was too quick, and put the frame back in the hive before Stewart could get a close-up shot. Now that I know she’s safe, I’m going to leave the hive alone for three weeks, and then check back in the middle of August to make sure that she’s started laying plenty of eggs to grow into new worker bees.