Topical Tips – “Swarming” – by Malcolm Wilkie

All my colonies are in one apiary and every single one is now making preparations to swarm. They are just next to acres of rape seed oil. Yellow as far as the eye can see!

Temperatures are not ideal and Saturday it is wet and windy. However everyone would be well advised to carefully check their colonies as soon as they can. 13° with sunshine and not too much wind makes it possible to go in and have a look. You really need to look into those queen cups to see if there is an egg.

My own colonies on 14 x 12’s have between seven and nine frames of brood. There is an amazing amount of nectar in the environment currently and they will be off. Be warned!

If you have sealed Queen cells don’t dig them all out and render your colony queenless. Someone has already done this, much to my own despair. Just remember the colony won’t appear to have swarmed because there will still be thousands of bees but if you have sealed queen cells the Queen has GONE. You cocked up this time. Not a problem as long as you learn from your mistake.

Malcolm Wilkie 26th April 2019

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