Last time I wrote about carrying out the Demaree manipulation on my five strongest hives. This is the progress so far on those hives.
I took a day off work last Friday as it was a glorious weather and I wanted to get started with my hive inspections. Of the five hives that I Demareed four seem to have worked ok and one (the Poly hive that I had found a couple of charged queen cells in before the Demaree) still seemed intent on swarming!
I have made two nucleus colonies from two of the hives, selecting a nice queen cell and taking another one to two frames of brood and two frames of food and placing them into Poly Nucs. All these frames came from the top (Demareed) box on the hives and I just replaced the frames with frames of foundation.
On checking the bottom brood boxes on those hives, four of them were doing well with no signs of queen cells. The Poly hive however had several more charged (containing a bed of royal jelly with a lava) queen cells! So it seems that I hadn’t quite got them timing right on the demaree for this hive.
I have now removed the queen and two frames of brood + two frames of food to another Poly Nuc and moved that to another apiary! I then carefully inspected the remaining frames and left just one good open queen cell. I also decided to remove one of the two brood boxes as all of the frames containing brood / food fit into one brood box and I would rather the bees fill the supers with honey than the second brood box!
The good news from that Poly hive is that at least one of the supers is almost ready to take off and extract.
If you compare the above photo with the one below you can see the progress the bees have made in capping the honey in just 3 days!
So with any luck there will be some supers of honey to take off and extract soon.
A week later and the four demareed hives seem to be fine, they have between 4 and 8 frames of new brood in the new bottom brood box and the brood in the upper box is hatching out.
The only side effect is that the top box tends to fill up with honey as the brood hatches but I can live with that!
The queen that I removed from the Poly hive and placed in a Poly Nuc went from 2 frames of brood to 4 in just a couple of days so I am really happy to have kept the queen and have now transferred that colony into a full size Poly hive.
Of my other hives I have now demareed 2 more in the other apiary and some of the weaker / slower to build up hives have finally started to fill out fast.
A lot of the supers that I have on the strong hives are filling fast and as I said will hopefully be ready to extract soon! As they contained mainly honey from OSR it is important to remove and extract them before the honey crystallizes in the comb!
It is certainly a very busy time for me at the moment!
To finish off a couple of closeup shots of bees.
One very last thing, I had a very nice email from one of the blog readers asking if I would write a post on a specific subject, which I am now planning to do. If anyone else that reads this blog would like me to cover a subject, that I know about, let me know either by a comment or email and I will try my best to include it.