Today the session is about supering the hives in line with the honey flow. There is no obvious June gap this year, more like a late spring telescoped into summer, and the bees are very busy with forage right now.
However the need to Bailey Comb change and the introduction of queens has made the process somewhat compressed so today we need to check the uniting of queens in colonies 4-8 whilst 9 and 10 will need to wait until early next week as the process only started yesterday for these hives.
Hive 4 was moved from a nucleus into a brood box and then placed amongst clean frames. The red queen was seen and the colony looked strong. A super was placed above the brood box and a queen excluder.
Hive 5 had been united with a red queen (the former queen moved to colony at Hive 8). This was a very strong box and despite our best efforts the queen was not seen. The brood frames were very congested and we were concerned that the continuing storage of honey was not taking place in the super. So although we condensed the hive from two brood boxes, we have added a super beneath the Queen excluder and one above (brood and a half) to deal with the congestion. It may be a temporary measure. I believe the queen is there but even if not, they can easily raise an emergency queen cell.
Hive 7 (uniting of 7 with queen and queen removed from 6) Red Queen seen and hive condensed to one brood box, with queen excluder and super above.
Hive 8 - queen not found, but eggs and brood in all stages. Difficult to say whether the new queen has been rejected. Little activity in the super, so no additional super added. It does not mean the queen is not present but again there is sufficient for the colony ro raise an emergency queen cell.
A good session with lots to discuss and decide. Below we look at super configurations and the magnificent energy skill that bees put into building comb if given the opportunity.