Back from my business trip, with a new phone and thus camera, I turned up at the Apiary today not sure if the weather was going to let us do anything. And those who also arrived were in the same mind, and in the end we did have to stop and start through the morning.
Here you see beekeeping in the rain being Not Much Fun™. But we did get to look inside all the hives for the first time in a couple of weeks, even if we did have to close a few up quickly again after only getting half way through.
My group started on my second hive, and all seemed fine. Loads of brood, no sign of disease, and the syrup I gave them seems to have led to them building out the Super and start to store in it finally. But Rain Stopped Play about a third of the way through it. We found a few queen cells, sealed, in it in that time though, and we cut a couple of them out. This proved useful to James, who found Hive 8 to be queen less, so we put them in there. Then it stopped raining again, so we opened up my main hive. This was also looking very healthy, and they’ve half-filled the 3rd Super already. I need to make some new frames up, to put more Supers on both Hives.
It was then that my team moved to Geoff’s Hive 3, once it stopped raining again.
And it was in here we found the queen in the top photo. She’s bottom middle, surrounded by workers, slightly brighter and shinier than the others – and way bigger. We called out to the more experienced beekeepers, as she was unmarked, and tried to mark and clip her, as per Geoff’s instructions. But she was too wriggly, so we only managed to mark her – we couldn’t get her wings to pop out of the cage enough to cut them.
We then released her carefully back into the Hive with a white mark on her back.
Less than 2 hours there, and the rain coming back, we headed home. But it was definitely worth the visit.