Swanson 1 the suspected queen less hive was very quiet, so I donned on my newly repaired veil, and headed to see if the queen was indeed missing from the hive.
I spotted no brood in the bottom or top layer. The hive was full of bees and quite a few drones as well.
Looking through a frame full of bees, I spotted the queen in all her glory. She did seem smaller than other queens, but she is in residence. She is obviously not laying at moment.
The hive has plenty of food, so let's hope this is just a normal part of winter, the bees seem pretty happy and are still bringing in nectar.
We added one of our test quilt levels onto the hive (see our blog post Wrapping up your bees with a moisture quilt?), so we will see how the bees gets on with this new level. I placed a queen excluder between the top-level and the quilt level. This will give the bees some more bee space.
At that point my brother turned up with some beers, and it was getting cold, so I called it a day :D. The temperature had dropped 4 degrees, so I didn't want to risk chilling any brood. Or drinking warm beer…
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