In the Apiary : Late April : The Big Day

In the Apiary : Late April : The Big Day

searching for the queen small

There are some weeks when whole months happen. This week is shaping up to be one of those weeks in the Bermondsey Street Bees’ apiary. Next up: all 3 hives will be opened for their first inspections of the year.

Right now, they’re sitting there like wrapped-up birthday presents: you can see the shape and size, you can even heft the weight, or let your imagination scud back over past packages – but you can’t look inside until The Big Day dawns. And that is only when the conditions are right – 14C and above and, at most, a light breeze.

Ok, let’s play a little bee-game: here are my predictions for what I think will be revealed when each hive is “unwrapped”:

Abbey Hive: this is the big one. Looks populous and healthy, with a young 2012 Queen and docile productive bees. I’m expecting at least 3 full frames of worker Brood in All Stages (BIAS) and that I will be adding supers for the bees to store surplus honey within a week or so.

Shard Hive: a problem hive. More exposed to the elements and its late-mated 2012 Queen may be a drone-layer (ie no worker bee brood) and possibly weakened by a late Spring bout of nosema. I’m expecting just a frame and half of brood here – and keeping my fingers crossed for it to be worker brood.

Thames Hive: the real troublemaker. Another late-mated Queen, but one which has produced a feisty, pinging bunch of bovver-bees, which have gulped down more sugar-syrup feed pro rata that the other hives. I anticipate 2 full frames of BIAS here – but I am already hatching plans to depose her Majesty….bad-tempered bees need requeening to repent!

So what will it be: tears before bedtime, or over-excited whoops of joy? All will be revealed – and pictures, too – in the next episode of this Bermondsey Street “honey opera”……

2 Replies to “In the Apiary : Late April : The Big Day”

  1. Can’t wait to find out more.
    And don’t forget to get your bee suit out and go marching on Friday with 38 Degrees to deliver the petition to Owen Patterson about banning neonicotinoid pesticides that are a danger to bees. I will be there!

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