First Apiary Inspection - 29/05/2011

 

The bees had been moved in earlier in the week, and with them now settled in their new homes, it was time to start the weekly inspections of our apiary hives.

This first inspection was attended by many members of the YDBKA, and a great time was had by all.

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Judy looks through the first hive, ably assisted by Chris.   Chris helps Judy with identification of some of the common sights on a frame of bees
     
 
Beekeepers, in their natural environment!   Chris points out some interesting features of this colony to onlookers.
     
 
Judy gets to grips with frame inspection   A nice frame of brood - although note the brace comb on the underside.
     
 
A member gets up and close and personal with a passing drone!   Chris adds sugar syrup to the first colony - as a new colony, the syrup will encourage them to draw out more comb, ready for the queen to lay in.
     
 
Jean gets underway opening up the nucleus box, containing a recently hived swarm.   Jean inspects a frame of bees, with Chris overseeing events!
     
 
Unfortunately, it looks as though the queen in this swarm may be a drone-laying-queen - notice all the raised cappings of drone brood spread all over the comb.   Nevertheless, Chris marks the queen, to make her easier to locate in future, and so we can keep an eye on her to see if the bees replace her naturally, before we intervene.
     
 
Smoking the hive, in preperation for its inspection.   Note the way the wax comb is being held into the frame with string - these bees are from the infamous "Bees in a Tree" the branch rescued earlier in the year. The comb removed from the tree log has been tied into frames. Eventually, the bees will fill in the gaps, and attach all the comb more naturally.
     
 
As the bees become satisfied that they have attached the comb in their own way - the are happy to discard our crude string. Chris removes it from the hive - if left to their own devices, the bees would eventually manage to remove the string from the frames, and chuck it out the front of the hive!   Chris catches the queen in his marking cage - she just needs to run up the side of the tube, and he can insert the foam plunger, and mark her safely.
     
 
Inspections over, the group gather in the orchard, just outside our apiary for a good chin-wag!   Dave shares a tale with other beekeepers !