It was very warm on Saturday morning, so I decided to do the weekly inspection after breakfast. In the blue nuc, things were quiet. Too quiet, in fact - surely there should be more bees? And where was the queen? After spotting a couple of queen cells - with larvae - it became clear what had happened - the bees had taken advantage of the nice weather, and swarmed. Oh well, I shall have to wait for the new queen to emerge in a week or so.
Laura’s hive is doing well, with lots of bees and brood. They have finally started bringing in honey, though I don’t think the crop will be anywhere near last year’s.
On to hive number 2. The good news is the brood looks healthy, and there’s no sign of the Sacbrood infection that they suffered from last season. However, there were a few spots of bee poo on the frames, and one poor bee with poo on her wings. It looks like the colony might have a case of diarrhoea. There are a few different diseases that can cause this. I’m going to read up on them this week, so that next week I can make a proper diagnosis and take the appropriate course of action.
At least I spotted the queen, and I took the opportunity to mark her with a dot of red paint. She is laying, though there is only so much she can do as the bees are barely drawing any wax. I wonder if I need to feed them next week, to get them building?
One odd thing - despite the colony looking quite sorry for itself, they’d still gone to the effort of making a queen cell. I took the side off so that I could get to the larva inside, and took a photo before I scooped it out:
|A queen larva|
The colony is taking a long time to build up worker numbers. There is about a frame and a half of capped brood - hopefully when these workers emerge, the additional workforce might mean more foraging and more comb building.