I’m excited to announce that Hive Caitlin has been placed on site this morning! Stuart very kindly drove to Dumfries yesterday to collect the hive. We left it closed up last night in the garden and this morning, with help from Niall, we moved it onsite. It’s a full size functioning colony, hopefully ready to produce honey this year. The smell coming from the hive was amazing! I’m going to let them settle this week, then I’ll hopefully be able to open the hive and have a look at what I’ve got. Exciting!!
I also did a few housekeeping jobs on Hive Rebecca yesterday. The mouse guard was removed, the fondant supplies were checked and the Varroa count board was replaced – which I’ll inspect next week. I had a good nosy in the entrance and got an amazing picture of the bees and their wax creation just above the Varroa floor. I think that might be pollen in the cells on the top left. The signs are looking good for Hive Rebecca!
Checking the fondant supplies today, I was amazed to see how much had been taken in the space of a week. I decided that it was worth putting on a new bag and, taking the advice given by a friend, I suited up and gently smoked just under the fondant bag to encourage the bees to leave the bag and move down in to the hive. This worked and I had very few bees left in the bag when I removed it. I quickly put the new bag in place and left the old bag near the hive entrance for a while to let those few remaining bees return home. The fondant I’m using has pollen in it too, so that will help any brood rearing that may be going on. I’ll check again in a week and see how they’re getting on and I’ll order some more fondant in the mean time.
I also did a quick check of the count floor. As with previous checks, I still have no Varroa drop and only 3 small pieces of chalk brood. I’m very pleased. The Varroa treatment in Autumn appears to have been very successful and the Oxalic acid in January has been a worth while insurance policy.