My blog in early May, a season like no other really has continued. I have had very little to make notes on as visits to the apiaries have been infrequent as poor weather has continued into the summer months. I have been playing a waiting game for queens to start laying and this was becoming more depressing with each visit. I have not seen a queen or eggs since the 21st May in all but one of the colonies.
Until this weekend that is, I am so pleased with what what i saw as i had set this weekend to be the last possible date to see the queens laying from the cells left in the colonies in May, it is over 1 month after they would have hatched.
Colony after colony was opened and found to be queen right, I really was expecting the worse. I now have laying queens in seven colonies and another that is barely larger than a worker that is not laying. I have added frames of eggs into two colonies to confirm that they are without queens, if confirmed next week I will either reunite them, buy a couple of queens or leave a good sized queen cell in each if the bees provide me with this option.
The length of time the colonies have been without brood has left them reduced in strength and so unlikely to be able to produce any honey if the weather improves. However, a great benefit could b that without brood in the colony for nearly five weeks there was nowhere for varroa to breed.
I hope now the colonies will build up fast and be able to make the most of any late summer nectar and build up food supplies and strength to raise healthy bees to get them through winter.