Checked my hives last Friday and Saturday, all ok (Queen problems aside).
Yesterday, a new Queen I’d ordered arrived, and on checking the hive before introducing her, I was surprised to see dead bees – they had smashed through all the honey/nectar stores and were dying from starvation.
I quickly knocked up 5L of 1:1 sugar/water mix to feed them with, and added a rapid feeder to the hive. I put the new Queen, in her introduction cage, on top of the frames to check if the bees were going to accept her, and they seemed fine.
I left tape over the fondant tube overnight, so they could not release her, and when I checked today the bees were trying to feed her through the cage, so I removed the tape. The bees will eat their way through the fondant over the next day or two thereby releasing her, giving time for the Queens pheromone to get through the hive making for a better chance of acceptance – fingers crossed on that one.
I had to put feed on hive 5 as well, they were not in the same situation as hive 2, but were low on stores, so best to put a feed on.
I also got a swarm housed into a 6 frame nuc, left them for a couple of days to settle, then opened up to check them yesterday. I found the Queen right away, lovely looking Queen too, so I marked her white (for a 2016 Queen) as she did not look like a new Queen.
She is laying well already, with 1 ½ frames full of eggs – looks like she’ll do right. I will probably merge this swarm with hive 5 later, to build them up ready for winter – one strong colony will over-winter better than two weak ones.
I put a feeder on them too, as being a new colony, they have no stores, plus it’ll help them to draw wax on the frames in order that the Queen can lay more eggs.
Weather looks like rain for Saturday, so I’ll probably do the hives at Lytchett tomorrow, they should be ok for stores, and I need to check if the Queen cell they made has succeeded or not.
I made another 5L of 1:1 sugar syrup today, just in case…