Well we've started our countdown to spring, but its hard to know the state-of-play for our girls – yes our Bees : )
I went to the apiary and watched them coming and going and really positive signs, lots of pollen going in to the hives, so good signs there's brood….yay….
I haven't had a chance to open the hives since I added a frame of brood to one of the hives which lost their queen. So from the frame with eggs I hope the girls raise a queen – they were a little quiet today but same as the other hives, lots of pollen going in, theres a good buzz in the hive, tapped on the side and they responded with a big team BUZZ. I have had an inspection board in the hive. I removed it and it showed ants, cappings waste and a few mites. I have cleaned the board and will do a 24 hour mite count – its a risky move to treat while they are trying to raise a queen – so I will monitor only unless levels rise. I need to inspect them but they need time to get their queen up and running, there were some drones in the hive where I took the brood from but its too early to tell if the new queen would have been able to find enough for mating, so it's a bit of a wing and a prayer.
We've had lots of rain, and apparently more to come this weekend, blah! This does not help with the Bees gathering pollen and nectar and mating flights!
Something to consider, If you can see your Bees being more active it's important to consider an inspection and do some counts on mite-levels.
I took some photos of the blooms for you ….see below
Roll-on spring….our advice is monitor mite levels now, install some drone management frames and add a meshboard. We have one hive that is on a solid-bottom board and the girls are already fanning the entrance! …this means a growing population which may require more room so that's something you'll need to watch-out for, otherwise swarming may become an issue – a split may be required.
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She loves New Zealand native flora and fauna, her fav is the Kowhai...with Manuka honey close second ; )
Some of you may know that Margaret is a qualified Life Coach, she trained through the Coaching Academy in London and holds DipPC.Adv.