Stephen Jones ran the apiary process, and gave a very concise and detailed rationale for the process, enlightening all of us of its importance not just in bee health, but also in maintaining strong colonies. We now know what really goes on in the cells, and how bees do the cleaning between egg laying!
Jim Cooper managed the frame/foundation building, whilst also building three new brood boxes.
It was all there for new beekeepers - including equipment cleaning, sterlising boxes, creating the bailey configuration, feeding etc. Certainly we all took a great deal from this session.
So, four hives now have the existing brood frames (cleaned of propolis) into a clean brood box, followed by a second clean brood box above with 11 frames of new foundation. Each hive has a contact feeder with 1:1 syrup, which will encourage the bees to draw comb.
Next Saturday I will check the hives, and providing we have sufficient foundation, I can move the queen into the upper box and place a queen excluder below. Over the following three weeks, the brood in the lower box will have completed the life cycle and the older frames can be removed and disposed of.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this session, new skills, new knowledge, but most of all great fun.
Ken Gallagher - Apiary Supervisor