Friday, 24 April 2009

I've just been through the hives. I came home from school with a splitting headache, and it's one way of distracting myself. Hive 3 still has 3 1/2 frames of brood, but the area covered is still increasing. Hive 4 is on 2 1/2 frames. Both of those will have a lot more bees hatching out in a week or two, so I'm expecting more expansion soon. The queen in Hive 5 has been really busy, with big areas of eggs and young brood on five frames in the 14x12 box I put on top of the original standard broodbox. I don't like standard National broodboxes, they're on the small side. There will be masses of bees hatching out of that one in three weeks or so, which fits in nicely with my plans for an early round of queen raising.

If I use eggs from my best colony that should produce an instant improvement in temper in Hive 5, as this is controlled by substances given off by the queen. It won't deal with the following though. This is a tendency to buzz around people, and it's not only a nuisance, it leads to stinging as people panic. It's inherited by the individual worker, so at best it won't disappear until the last of the offespring of that queen dies. It may not vanish then, as the new queen will inevitably mate with drones from that hive, which I'm depending on for this round as they're the only ones I have so far. In that case, it'll be with us all season, as I won't be raising the second round of queens until all the drones from the first one have died off. Drones come from unfertilised eggs, so they're not affected by what their mother has mated with.

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