Inspection today –  more relieved as saw eggs and larvae and some capped brood.  It is fair to say that there was lots and the increase in honey does not seem significant. The queen cells have opened.

Also the number of bees in the hive end stand were no where the number from end of April inspection. We did not see the queens that emerged last time.





Inspection today – there was no eggs and larvae but a lot of capped queen cells. We destroyed all but 3 cells however as we destroyed some 2 had queens that emerged. We marked these 2 and placed them into the hive and see what happens.

There were still a lot of bees but certainly less than last time. I attempted an inspection on the 14th but withdrew as the bees were instantly more agitated. Also observations since have had bees carrying no pollen.

So so now we need to leave the bees some weeks to evolve and see what the new queens can do with laying brood. Fingers crossed.


We did another inspection today.

Zoey again watched from the car.

Saw larvae and capped brood     There was a lot of drone brood so we destroyed the big clumps of them. Didn’t see as many eggs but this could have been because looking back I didn’t search as much.There are some of the frames that I need to move out as they are very old and dirty. I moved them to the edge and there were less brood so it may have worked.

There was a lot of bees and the whole of the outside of the brood box was covered in bees by the end – they were even hanging on the stand.

There were some practice queen cups again – swarming is likely but the extra super has helped with space.

Here are are some of Zoey’s photos.


we did an inspection today – Zoey watched from the car with uncle Adam and auntie Alesha.

We saw everything we needed – eggs, larvae, capped brood and stores. There were a few practice queen cups and to be fair a lot of bees. I think there is a chance of swarming soon. We destroyed the cups and some drone brood that was on the bottom of the frames.

The super was also nearly full of honey so decided to put on the second super.

Good inspection overall and no issues.

First Inspection

Today was the first inspection of the hive. Adrian helped me and Zoey watched us from the car that was parked infront of the hive.

There were a lot of bees of each frame – we inspected every frame. There were 5 frames with brood and this included eggs, larvae as well as capped brood. There are 2 frames where the comb needs drawing out. There are 2 frames that are starting to look quite back and may benefit from being replaced – i could move them to the edge of the box and move the 2 frames that still need drawing out towards the middle.  There was some nectar and capped honey so feels that they have enough food so the icing was taken off .

We decided to add the super given the number of bees and frames with brood.

A good first inspection overall. We need to number the frames again to help with documenting what we see in the hive.

We didn’t see the queen however the fact we saw eggs and larvae is a good sign. There was not an excess of drone brood but 4 of the brood frames had comb being build on the bottom of the frames – a likely place for drone brood. We re moved this to minimise the number of drone brood.

First Opening for the season

Today we decided to open up the hive to clear up the hive from over the winter. Adrian joined me and was a very calming influence.

As the wooden spacer had been left on the hive over winter, the bees had built up some comb on top of the brood frames. Some had uncapped honey in the comb and some were empty.

We cleared all this off and took down to the house so we could take out some of the honey.

We had a quick look in the broodbox – there was a lot of bees and clearly some brood as well as stores.

A generally good sign for colony.

Season Preparation lecture 2

Swarming – important to manage swarming as you will then have more honey.

A huge cloud of bees that then settle. A few minutes later they take off to a permanent home. The first setting will be on a  low branch.

A prime swarm – first swarm with the old queen and lots of bees.

Caste – smaller groups.

Queen cups – these are normal and not to worry.

Queen cell – look like peanuts (3cm long and 1cm wide).

Scout bees will be sent out to look for somewhere to go.

When – April – July. Around noon. When the first queen cell has been capped.

Triggers – primary reason is overcrowding.

Others –

  • lack of ventilation
  • lack of space for nectar flow
  • not enough space for queen to lay
  • too many nurse bees for the number of larvae.
  • too many wax makers

Overcrowding causes a lack of the queen pheronome – queen died or old queen.

Indicators of no queen:

  • no eggs
  • emergency queen cells
  • may be no capped brood

Leave 2/3 close together and leave for up to 3 weeks.

No queen – usually July/Aug

  • Supercede queen cells
  • Full size queen cell and not many.
  • All stages of brood
  • Let them manange it – the old and new queen can live together.

How delay

  • March/April – remove all damaged frames
  • Remove frames with winter stores
  • Remove frames with lots of drones
  • Mark queen
  • Inspect every 7 days – look for increasing drones and queen cells. Place super ahead of the need. Ventilation important in hot weather so remove the entrance block. You can sue a super as a brood box.
  • Reactive – if see queen cells.
    • Can you see eggs if not then they have already swarmed.(leave 2/3 cells and leave for 3 weeks)
    • If eggs then sue the swarm control method.

Adrian Waring Swarm Control method

Found lots of queen cells and eggs/early larvae.

  • Find a good queen cell.
  • Have a spare brood box.
    Knock bees off frames and move to a new box (leave the queen). Include frames with lots of small larvae and brood in all stages.
  • Frame with the queen cell – brush off 50-75% of the bees (make sure queen is off) and move to the new brood box. Move 3 queen cells over.
  • Leave most bees in original hive.
  • Put empty new frames into the original hive
  • Original hive – flying bees, queen, 1 frame of open brood.
  • New box – all brood, no bees, queen cells. Leave for 3 weeks.
  • Put the original hive back together
  • Note – flying bees will fly back to the original hive.
  • Consider if the new hive has enough stores? usually yes but you could feed. You need to feed after flying bees have left (usually a few hours after separation).


Drones – They have congregation areas and drones will move around colonies and can travel up to 8 miles.

If away for 2 weeks between April and June – make sure there is enough space and put extra supers on.

Super – add one when there is 5 good frames of brood