In The Apiary – April 2015 – First Inspections

Bees With Altitude !
First Inspections

Spring has been a long time coming, but finally, I’ve been able to crack open my hives and inspect the Bermondsey Street Bees, checking up on their health, development and well-being – and especially on each hive’s Queen.

Let’s take a closer look at these Green Queens. Green was the Queen marking colour for 2014, when these Majesties were born. This year’s dab of fast-drying marker pen on a new Queen’s thorax will be Blue. But more of that another time. Let’s focus on the Queens in each hive as the business end of 2015’s season gets underway:

Queen Of Abbey Hive
Jade, Queen Of Abbey Hive

Abbey Hive is my breeding hive. It has consistently produced excellent, well-tempered and productive Queens for my Apiary. Queen Jade is no exception: victorious, happy and glorious, indeed. Right now, Abbey Hive is the most populous of all my Bermondsey Street hives and it has a smattering of drones already, with a few more to come, but the look of the cells on the bottom of a couple of the frames and some empty “play cups“. Taking my cue from the bees I have just put a Snelgrove board in, with the intention of raising some more model Queens from this genetic dynasty.

Queen Of Shard Hive
Esmeralda, Queen Of Shard Hive

Shard’s Queen Esmeralda was introduced to this queenless hive 10 days ago and she is going great guns. Amazingly, she seems to have physically grown in stature since I moved from a small mating hive into the more capacious Shard hive. Just goes to show…

Queen Of Thames Hive
Myrtle, Queen Of Thames Hive

It looks as if Myrtle, Queen of Thames hive, has been bustling around vigorously, too, given the faded patch of paint on her thorax. Not to worry. I’ll get her a makeover soon.

Grunhilde, Queen Of  Hive
Grunhilde, Queen Of Neckinger Hive

Finally, a glimpse of Grunhilde, Queen of Neckinger hive – she starred in my rooftop video (“Extreme Beekeeping“) earlier this week – so I don’t want to all this media exposure going to her head!

So there we are: an introduction to the Bermondsey Street Bees and their anointed Queens. And there’s more: there’ll be updates “In The Apiary”  updates every month throughout the summer!

4 Replies to “In The Apiary – April 2015 – First Inspections”

  1. Running out of space… beginning to wonder if I should get snelgrove boards. How exact do the timings have to be with opening/closing the entrances? Could you leave seven days between each time?

    1. I have only ever followed the classic timeline. I can’t see how seriously changing the days between the door opening/closing a little would make much difference, but the critical intervention is the inspection in the top box on Day 9 or Day 10 to decide what to do with whatever QCs there are if you are Q breeding, or eliminate then if you are just doing a vertical artificial swarm – which makes a 7-day cycle tough. I’m breeding Qs, so I will be head down in the hive on Thursday evening.

    2. I have only ever followed the classic timeline. I can’t see how seriously changing the days between the door opening/closing a little would make much difference, but the critical intervention is the inspection in the top box on Day 9 or Day 10 to decide what to do with whatever QCs there are if you are Q breeding, or eliminate then if you are just doing a vertical artificial swarm – which makes a 7-day cycle tough. I’m breeding Qs, so I will be head down in the hive on Thursday evening.

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