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Claygate's Bee Blog 2024 - #4

Exciting inspection today - we had planned to put a frame of eggs into the new combined queenless hive, to enable the bees to produce a new queen by feeding one of the eggs on Royal Jelly.

However, when we inspected the other hive first we had a few surprises, all good I might add!

Firstly, the super which contains all the honey was so heavy it took two of us to lift it off!

Secondly, the hive was so full of bees it was bursting at the seams, this meant that the bees we're preparing to swarm and on inspection we found a number of queen/swarm cells.

The picture below shows queen cells , which are larger and have a distinct elongated shape with a rough, textured surface, often resembling a peanut shell.

This was good for two reasons hopefully we have stopped them swarming but it also meant that we have transferred a couple of the queen cells to the queenless hive which will be far quicker than them having to start from scratch.

Once hatched, we then have to pray that the queen mates successfully on her virgin flight, gets back to the hive safely and starts laying her eggs. The other piece of good news was that the merging of the two smaller rescued bee colonies (from the chimney and the school) was a success and they were generating plenty of honey too. So, we have added a second super to the first colony and a super to the merged hive, if we continue to have a good summer hopefully there will be lots of honey this year. I am just praying that the very full hive doesn't swarm.

The Accidental Beekeeper



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