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Monday, April 6, 2015

Queen substitution. Old queens from production colonies, replaced with last years queens from nucleus colonies.

So, we finally are starting to get some decent weather. We have had a week of very windy and cold conditions, worse than the previous 2 weeks before.  However bees are in great shape.

I have been collecting queens from Nucleus colonies (last years) and swapping them with older queens from unknown years, in an effort to get all my queens two years or less in age. This in turn should give me better honey crops and less swarming.

When I start making queens in a couple more weeks( when the bees will be doing the same), I will then re queen the "older queens" in my nucs and also obviously be making more nucs but its still a little early and as I need to be harvesting bees and brood from strong  Nucleus colonies. Depleting them enough to stop them swarming, but not too much so they become weak.
I will still probably harvest a little  resources from my production colonies. May be one frame of bees and brood, but not carrying out an artificial swarm as was the case in previous years and hoping they build up enough in time for the summer harvest. That way the field bees stay with the colony, and things should be a lot stronger.

Theres a big pause between middle of may and the middle of June here, before the chestnut trees come in to flower, so thats when we tend to make bees  but we have to feed lots!!

Will be posting about making good queen cells. thats in another couple of weeks though!




Filling up hornet traps today too, always loads to do!!




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