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Video from My Apiary


Sorry the end is short - battery ran out!


to be honest… that lid being crooked on the flowhive would drive me crazy… lol :grin:

I had drones all through last winter which is testament to the available food in my area during that period…

thanks for the video valli… its great to see how others set up :slight_smile:


I like seeing your video although between focus going in/out and video bouncing around makes it hard to keep my own focus. Since I am new to this hobby I do appreciate you sharing as it gives me things to look at and be aware of in the near future. Maybe using a tripod around the hive when pulling frames may help?
Keep them coming!!


Although we are all itching to get into our hives, here in the UK, it is still too early to be doing inspections. April is early enough and only then if the weather is settled. There is every chance of a cold snap…and then the propolis seal would be broken. It takes several days for the bees to recover after an inspection. I think it is important to point out that very few beekeepers are opening their hives…as new beekeepers may be misled and it could slow down spring build up or even lose brood. There is little to be gained and lots to lose. In addition…it is easy to see in the video …that there aren’t many bees in the colonies. I would want to see the bees completely covering all the frames and a lot more brood…before doing inspections.


Completely agree here. Valli you mentioned in an earlier post that beekeepers should have a plan and a reason for going into their hives what was yours? In my mind there is only one reason to be looking into a hive this early and that’s if you suspect a dead out and you have to close the box up


I was not sure how advanced the season was and aware that Emerald will swarm this year - Celia Davis said tonight that it is a sign she will swarm and is preparing - I thought I may see beginnings of Queen Cups or Cells. Was surprised to see Drone cells already.

I have been told they may swam as early as the beginning of April - so that is in the back of my mind. I want to be prepared. I’m told 60°F about 24°C - so I will bare that in mind.

Little concerned with Sapphire I saw one or 2 deformed wings, so even though I had very little varroa it may only take one or 2 to varroa to spread the virus - or it could just be a birth defect. Something to keep an eye on.

I was a wonderfully warm day here and at 10am they were out in force but I had to go to work latter than usual - Bath day - so the earliest I could get into the hive was 11:30ish by 12:30 it was noticeably cooler but I was in and out in less than 5 mins each hive.


It is unlikely that they will swarm if the conditions are not right. There is lots to read about how the bees decide to swarm.
Unless the colony builds up hugely…I don’t think it is at risk ATM. There is plenty of room for the queen to lay. They are building comb…so the bees have a job to do.
Even if daytime temperatures are increasing…it is very cold at night…4-6* in your area tonight. The bees have to get the brood areas up to brooding temperature from being chilled during an inspection.
Just because you haven’t seen them…there will be varroa. It could have been a winter bee rather than a new bee.
This is the third time you have opened the hives…probably best to leave them for a few weeks now. You now know the state of the colonies.


I’m not quite sure what signs you mean but it seems like a genuine mistake from bad advice rather than gung ho inexperience curiosity.
First. You have done lots of reading and you are having beginners lessons so you have to think through what you are doing and why. April swarms are common but the colonies that swarm are the big colonies heaving with new bees, the weather and forage has been good for a few weeks and continues to be so.
You, yourself have given advice on this forum to new beekeepers looking to putting their Flow frames on. Heaving with bees you’ve told them.
Looking at your first two inspections it is quite obvious that both your colonies are still small. What’s changed since then apart from the onset of cold weather?
You have given one lots of work to do do trying to draw comb in a cold cavernous box…(again seemingly on Celia’s advice) Think about the bees you have. They are all old. Yes, they can draw wax as you can see but the bees best suited are young ones and you have very few of these. These old bees are there to make and look after the next generation to take the colony into this year, not to be drawing wax in the cold. It’s worth remembering that a box of empty frames put on at the right time will be completely drawn in one week.
Look at your drones. How does a colony situate its drones? At the edge of the brood nest in batches. You will find that this year, left to their own comb, Drones can be up to 20% of the brood. Drones are not an indication of swarming intent. Bees love drones when there is plenty of food. They must have functions other than reproductive. Jacqueline Freeman has it that drones sing to the babies in their cells but perhaps we shouldn’t go there in this post :wink:
There are three reasons for drones scattered in the brood…as you show in your latest inspection.
A failing queen and inadequate worker policing are two but the most likely is that your queen has only just got into laying after a winter off and has had a few misfires.
Play cups are just that and are usually quite plentiful.
Bees are not daft. They are not going to swarm a few hundred bees into a March frost.
Now that you know how things are moving along you should leave them alone till mid April. Let them consolidate their home and future.
You need a mentor rather than a course instructor who seems to be leading you astray. Can you get any help from the person who sold you the bees? It would help enormously to run things by them even over the phone.


The other thing to consider is that it will be some weeks till you get to your bees crossover point. Till then your colonies are still getting smaller