I am standing on a delayed and overcrowded train from Paddington on the hottest day, sure you get the picture, I think that writing a blog about bees will take my mind of the current situation in which I find myself. Willing to find distraction in writing about my bees and in doing so thinking of the beautiful location the hives are located and connection to all things rural.
In the past few weeks my colonies have been frantically making preparations to swarm. Most have had 2 or 3 good sized queen cells and numerous smaller ones in the hive at each weekly inspection. Being meticulous, making sure these are all removed along with even the smallest of queen cups is a slow but important task to make sure the bees do not have the opportunity to swarm. So far this is working to prevent swarming. However now we are having better weather and the bees are able to make use of the nectar flow I am thinking of changing the plan to control swarming.
Ideally I would like to keep a few colonies together using the the demaree method, after i successfully used it a few years ago, artificial swarm some into new boxes with foundation to replace old foundation when they are united again and try again to rear queens using my best colony to replace those that head up the colonies that need to be improved.
In addition the past few weeks weather has been more favourable and it looks like there may be the opportunity to take some supers off and extract some honey next week. 3 colonies now have 2 or more supers that are full and capped over, this seems crazy as only last week i was feeding 2 others. I need to be careful and make sure if I take honey off any split colonies are left with enough in the supers to provide food if required.
The distraction therapy appears to have worked, it feels as if in no time i am back in Goring with a few words to share with you after the sort drive home for the last part of my journey.