It seems like we have had a very short Spring time this year, later than normal, and now the temperatures are rising and it may be the start of Summer already.
At least that is what it feels like looking at my colonies.
Due to the weather and various other reasons I have only really inspected my colonies once so far this year. With the majority of the ones surviving looking like they are building up fine and the 3 weaker colonies looking like they will survive but will not be large anytime soon.
I had planned to try and get organised with Queen marking and tidying up the hives before it was time to put supers on or even think about swarm prevention!
And then we have a few days of sunshine and warmer temps and this happens!
Yes the field of OSR (Oil Seed Rape) is starting to flower and when I visited the hives that are at the edge of this field they were working the flowers for pollen and nectar like crazy!
So my best laid plans of being organised went out of the window and I have now put supers on the hives at this apiary.
Even though I hadn’t done a second inspection to determine exactly how much brood they have I am pretty sure they are ready / need the space of a super as each crown board had brace comb built between it and the tops of the frames containing mainly honey and unfortunately in one hives case some brood!
This to me is a definite sign that they are ready for a super!
The queen marking will have to wait for the next full inspection, as will checking the brood levels. There are also a few mixed frame hives that were left over from late combinations last year.
In the above picture you can see that I had to use both DN1 (with plastic spacers) and DN4 (self spacing) brood frames after I combined a 6 frame nucleus with another colony late last year! This is also a colony that had built the brace comb on top of the frames.
So after last nights urgent activity my apiary looks like this.
And not forgetting the Poly Hive
Just as I was about to leave the sun came out one last time and I paused to watch the bees foraging and take a few photos.
Finally I hope any beekeepers reading my blog / diary have a good beekeeping bank holiday weekend! I have lots of beekeeping planned myself!