Topical Tips – “Decisions about a box in swarming mode” – by Malcolm Wilkie

“Decisions about a box in swarming mode” - by Malcolm Wilkie

  1. Opening box. What order to examine the bees.
    Video
  2. Stores.
    Picture and enlargement Picture
  3. Eggs. You need to be able to see eggs to read your colony correctly. Let the sun shine into the bottom of the frame to give you a chance of seeing them. If necessary use your reading glasses.
    Picture
  4. Drone larvae.
    Picture
  5. Eggs and a queen cup.
    Picture
  6. Larvae. Larger larvae to the left, smaller larvae to the right.
    Picture
  7. Queen cup and egg standing upright. Laid today!
    Picture
  8. A congested frame.
    Video
  9. Play cup with an egg. Excuse my French!
    Video
  10. Another congested frame.
    Video
  11. The queen looking for places to lay.
    Video
  12. Queen cups.
    Video
  13. Have you hatched a plan?
    Video
  14. Explanation of a frame. Sealed brood, arc of pollen, honey, larvae, Queen cups.
    Video
  15. A pollen bank. Temperament of a nice colony.
    Video
  16. Discussion of what to do.
    Video
  17. Discovery of a charged queen cell. Notice small “c” shaped larva swimming on a pool of royal jelly.
    Picture
  18. The queen found and put in a clip. Notice the blue dot.
    Picture
  19. Chaos. Now the queen is in the queen clip all frames can be shaken and all queen cups/ queen cells destroyed.
    Picture
  20. The brood nest has been split with two pieces of foundation. The clean frame(marked 2019) can be easily seen. The other frame is three frames in from the front of the box. This was already in the hive at one end but has now been moved in order to split the brood nest and give the bees work to do drawing it out. I stress this can only be done with a really strong colony.
    Picture
  21. How to keep the bees busy in the supers.
    Video
  22. Putting an empty super above the brood nest.
    Video
  23. Frames full of nectar.
    Video
  24. Checkerboarding. Trying to keep the bees busy and take their minds off swarming. Notice how Lesley manages to hold both hive tools in one hand. It is possible!
    Video

 Malcolm Wilkie - 12th April 2020

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