Not much to report this week really.  A large group of us turned up at the Apiary this morning, about half of this year’s trainees, and James, Elsa, Geoff and I as Mentors.  And the weather stayed good long enough for each group to go through at least 3 hives and everyone got to do some inspecting.

My hives are still both in the process of having a newly mated queen start work for the hive.  My main hive won “Best Beehaved Beehive” again, being completely docile and not caring a bit as we worked through looking for activity.  Both looked healthy, although there was some odd signs of either dead larvae of dried up/mouldy pollen in the newer hive, on both sides of one frame, in maybe 8 or 9 cells.  We’ll keep an eye on that over the coming weeks, see what’s happening there.  The picture above is of a worker bee hatching out.  We watched her eating the wax out of the way above her, a nursery bee came over to help, and I took this shot about 2 minutes in, as she lifted herself out of the cell for the first time.  Just above centre, with the nursery bee still clearing the wax from behind her.  It’s oddly nice to watch a bee birth.

Bee docility was really the main interesting thing of the day though.  My newer hive has been aggressive this year, but not as much as Hive 11, the strongest of Simon’s colonies in the Training Apiary.  To demonstrate, here’s a shot I took as we worked on my main Hive:Bees around the hive, but very few bothered by us.  On the other hand, here’s a shot of the team working on Hive 11 in the front corner:Hard to tell the beekeepers apart from the hive.  You need to be pretty sure you’re not going to freak out from being buzzed before you work there.

My team then finished on Hive 8, the one that had a mould problem a couple of months ago.  It had 6 closed Queen Cells last week, and this week half were open, and half still sealed.  So we figure we have a new queen, and she’s killed the others.  Whether the weather has let her out to mate yet is the question.  We now wait again to see signs of laying.  And if we can find any of them, we’ll mark them.  There was still some capped brood from the old queen yet to hatch, so the transition will be smooth.

My job is changing, so I’m not sure if I can even get to the hives in the next 3 weeks.  I have family over next week, and the two weekends after that I’m in California.  So we’ll really need other mentors if anyones’ free?

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