Saturday, 23 May 2009

I discovered today that a swarm has moved into Hive 1. It's not exactly unexpected, since I noticed several weeks ago that the hive was being staked out by strange bees. The swarm is a fair size, fills half a National standard broodbox, and has eggs on a frame and a half already. This shows that it is a 'prime swarm', the first to issue from a hive, with the old, mature queen. the swarms I got last year were 'casts', headed by virgins which took a couple of weeks before they started laying. I left them badly confused, as I gave them a new entrance on the other side, where I really want it to be, and closed off the one they were using.

Hives 3 and 4 are as before, with 4 and 4 1/2 frames of brood respectively. Hive 4 is taking its time laying up the frame I gave them to raise queens on. It has a few eggs though, so it should be ready at last in a couple of days. I'll really be disturbing Hive 5 then, so I've left it alone for the time being.

Apart from that, I've been potting up tomatoes, and planting out broad beans.

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