Its been a few weeks since the last update and just so you know the shook swarm went without any problems and the bees are now in the larger brood box and have drawn out all the just wired frames and the frames with wax foundation. Also with the removal of all the old smaller frames and brood within the frames about 80% of the Varroa also was removed which compensated me for having to get rid of the brood in the first place.
The introduction of just wired frames and wax starter strip has been very interesting the bees definitely treat these frames different than the frames with a sheet of wax foundation, they don’t attach the comb to the frame side bar all the way down but only at a few points as one example but the biggest obvious thing is the amount of drone comb they drawer out with literally 1000s of cells as a result the hive is now full of Drones.
With the increase of Drones in the hive it will as I see it, have an affect on the amount of honey they can produce as in less, and the hive will have a higher amount of Varroa in the hive. On the good side is this is a very nice hive and with more drones from this hive in the area a greater chance they will pass on the hives good characteristics.
Just in case you don’t know what a Drone is it’s a male bee and the life of a Drone male bee is you don’t do any house work in the hive, you are fed by the worker bees (all female) you leave the hive when it suits you and meet up with drones from other hives, the Drones hang out for the day with his friends in the hope that a virgin queen comes past then he chase her if he is lucky he gets to mate with her and then he dies, if you are unsuccessful you return to a hive perhaps not your own any will do and you will be fed by the worker bees and a good nights sleep before starting off on another day. It sounds like a great life BUT then retribution comes October the worker bees no longer have a use for the Drones and they refuse to feed them and push them out of the hive and they all die soon after. Some people think it has a lot of parallels to similar ways of life.
Back on track with the hive as a whole it is doing ok it has two supers on at the moment the first is ¾ full and the 2ndone only just recently added but the Blackberry is now starting to flower and the Lime trees are not far behind so we shall hope to see the 2ndsuper fill up over the next few weeks.
Only one dark cloud on the horizon is that the hive has shown signs of replacing the Queen and the last few weeks have been the same, the queen is present and looks to be laying well but the bees have built a few queen cells in odd places and not the best looking queen cells. I have come to the conclusion she may be showing slight signs of failure and the bees are picking up on this and some of them are taking it upon themselves to produce queen cells and this is why they look poor cells. I have been removing them for now but may let them get on with the replacement when they produce a good looking queen cell. For the bees it will be a case of the Queen is dead long live the Queen.