The girls were checked again today and all is well. Varroa counts is nil on both hives – that worries me a tad! But I did give them a good dusting of icing sugar last week – so maybe it works after all!Anyway, I managed to swap out 5 old brood frames from the new hive – the bees were not using those frames and on inspection, it’s easy to see why – old dirty wax, some dead brood in the combs so they have gone, destroyed. I thought about cleaning them up and re-waxing them, but you never know what has been in there.
These were frames from Peter’s hive out in the woods near Leeds and he did say that the swarm in there originally had died for some unknown reason. Before he got a chance to clean up, a new swarm moved in and we were the lucky recipients of said new swarm last year.
They are starting to store quite a lot of honey on the brood frames, but there are still larvae so the new queen is doing her stuff – I still have not found her yet, but when I do, she will have to be marked – something new for us to learn!
The original hive is also doing well. They are out and about quite a lot at the moment making the most of the end of season sunshine and, of course, the honey flow from Himalayan Balsam.
After we took a super of frames off this hive last week, they started to fill in every available space with comb and honey, so I put a new super on today with 9 brand spanking new frames. I’m not expecting them to draw out and fill all nine, but at least they have somewhere to store all that lovely nectar!
All being well, we will be able to feed them honey, of their own making, to keep them happy over winter.
Talking of winter, it doesn’t seem like it was this time last year when we were just getting ready for our first over wintering of the bees. Here we are again, getting ready to over winter two hives, one strong and the other, not as large, but doing quite well so far. Other than in the stores department!