Stephen Jones went through the process of clearing bees from supers prior to honey extraction, including the use of clearer boards, brushing bees, and using blowers. There was a useful discussion in the group, and demonstration for dealing with supers where the bees tend to cap honey the middle frames, and move upwards, thus how to balance out the sealed frames ready for clearing.
The hives were then examined (with the exception of hive 9 which was aggressive on the 3rd and the 13th July, after re-queening).
Hive 4 was a nucleus box from the 19/5 when it was made ups from Hive 10, and the new queen was marked red on the 16/6. It was moved into a brood box on the 30/6 and is making progress. We had placed a super on top, but today it was clear that the bees were busily engaged on the brood frames and there was no other activity in the super, so that was removed. Queen seen.
Hive 5 was re-queened on the 27/6 and united with a new queen. It was decided to put a super below and above the queen excluder (brood and a half). In practice the lower super was being used exclusively to store honey , the queen excluder put back on the brood box, followed by the previous upper and then lower supers. Queen seen.
Hive 7 (united with 6 on 30/6) and bees drawing frames and storing honey in the super. Queen seen.
Hive 8 A weaker colony with little activity in super, so reduced to brood box to allow bees to work on brood frames. Queen seen.
Hive 10 Strong as always, with three supers, increased to four. Queen not seen but Brood in all stages.
Hive 9 will be examined and managed in the next week.
Ken Gallagher - Apiary Supervisor.