Another hot and sunny day today here in Dorset, what better weather to be messing about in a bee suit moving heavy hives around – said with tongue firmly in cheek.

I inspected the 11 colonies in my garden apiary this morning, with mixed results. Some of the new virgin queen introduced to nucs have disappeared, probably crossed paths with a Swallow while out on mating flights, or just got lost, as often happens. I have 4 queen less colonies in this apiary now.

The others all have new 2018 queens, which are starting to build up well, except for one hive that has an awful lot of drone brood. This is a shame, as they also have 2 supers full of capped honey. I say it’s a shame as they are obviously productive at the moment, but that will change when all the drone brood emerges as drones are totally non-productive, meaning they do not help in raising brood or cleaning the hive, they do not forage or act as guard bees. I will have to see how things go in this hive, and will probably end up replacing the queen (again).

Below is a very short, poorly captured video of one of my 2018 queens – marked with a red dot for the international code for queens  born in the years end in 3 or 8.

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