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The day started off pretty grey in the Waitakere Hills, so wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to put in the new Queen that I picked up last night from “Dals Pollination“. The weather picked up around lunch time, so I headed out to the Bee gardens.
After reading many articles on the interwebs it seemed the best approach to give the new Queen the best chance was to provide some frames of brood from another hive. So I figured that the best approach was to bring forward the inspection of Honey 1 from Saturday to today.
The other thing that many sources on the Internet recommended was to leave the plastic tab on the Queen Cage for at least two days. Which I will do as well, this helps the bees to be become accustomed to the new Queen.
The candy plug doesn’t always last the normal three day period that is required for the bees to get to know the new Queen. Judging by how much candy was eaten over night by the Queen and her attendants, I think this will be true.
The Honey 1 Inspection:-
Margaret’s Queen Rearing Experiment has produced two Queen Cells. We had thought the Experiment had failed but we maybe producing a new Queen. she will be following this up soon readers. Hopefully we can generate a new Queen; maybe this combined with the Millar method is how we can produce queens next season. Margaret latest blog post can be found HERE.
We have two Supers on the hive, 1.5 boxes are full of nectar but none of frames are totally capped yet. You can’t extract honey that is uncapped; it has too much water content and will ferment in the jar.
We did have some nice frames of capped honey in the full sized brood boxes, but these frames belong to the bees for winter feed. I have attached a photo of one of the frames to the left.
I also put in Half Drone Brood management frames, this is an idea that I learnt from Martin at the Auckland Bee Club which involves creating a full size frame with foundation at the top and then a solid bar. The idea is that the bees will build foundation in the lower part which will be mainly drone brood. You remove this every 25 days or when the drone cells are capped. The Varroa mites are more attracted to the Drone cells because of the longer capping period. Hence you remove quite a lot of mites before they are released into your hive (See photos, I made one with plastic foundation and one with Wax Foundation to see which one works better). You can also use a ¾ frame in a full size hive, the bees will create comb at the bottom of it.
Mokoroa 1 – The Next Phrase.
All pictures from the day