The primary objective of this apiary inspection was to ensure that the Buckfast queens in the five newly populated colonies had started to lay and the brood was expanding, also to ensure the donor colonies had settled.
The weather started off heavy and overcast, temperature 17 degrees C. After the first hive inspection rain stopped play. Having packed up, the skies cleared and the sun came out, so we decided to press on! Despite this changeable weather, the bees were very good-tempered.
The brood was expanding nicely in the new colonies, the donors being fine. Probably the most striking observation was the massive increase in stores in all colonies due to the nectar flow. We ensured there was adequate space in all colonies.
The unmarked Buckfast queen from colony 23 was marked blue.
Due to the rapid expansion of stores, the next apiary visit was arranged for six days.
(Also see Rowan’s video synopsis.)
N.B. Gareth had collected his nuc., so the apiary now has nine colonies.