Oxford Bees

Supersedure

Happy Bees, and a correction about roaring

Submitted by will on Tue, 19/07/2016 - 14:51

There's a honey flow on. All the hives in my out-apiary have stores now and there's a lot of activity. The bees are noticeably better tempered.

The roaring that I heard recently was probably the bees fanning, to cool the hive and evaporate excess water from the honey. I knocked on the side of A Hive this morning (the one which roared); they revved for a moment and then calmed down. Not queenless, just busy.

C and D Hives both have brood. I had a better look at C because it was easier to handle. Brood in various states on at least 10 sides of comb. These are Commercial depth frames but not completely covered in comb.

I'd put a deep super (ie a standard brood box) on C hive which the queen has evidently moved into. This is not great management. I saw patches of a few dozen larvae, honey-bound by stores. I'm sure that they'll work it out.

The worrying news is that B Hive is queenless. Their supersedure appears to have failed. They have stores which surround empty cells. I suppose that they'll get robbed by and then drift into either of the more successful hives.

An interregnum

Submitted by will on Mon, 18/07/2016 - 05:25
Supersedure in progress

I looked into Hive B a few days ago and found no brood and no Queen. The colony is quite small so she probably wasn't hiding.

Is there a virgin Queen waiting to take over? That would be reasonable following the supersedure which I saw in progress at the start of the month. I will have to look again to see whether brood returns. What happens if the colony is unable to create a new Queen? I'm unsure.

The colony in Hive B is small and hardly thriving compared to other colonies I'm working with. It appears to have been a cast swarm and this fact - followed by the hungry gap - may explain a lot.