31st July – Colonies Building Up

We’re carrying out a weekly inspection at the moment because we conscious that they may need some more room soon and we don’t want them to feel crowded.  We’re still feeding them but Hufflepuff are losing interest in the sugar water now.  Both hives still have frames where they haven’t yet drawn out the comb so we’re going to continue feeding Hufflepuff for another week and Ravenclaw probably a little longer.  There seem to be many different views on how long to feed a colony for when you get a nucleus of bees but the general thought seems to be that they’ll let you know when they aren’t interested anymore and that generally they would probably prefer natural sources of stores rather than the sugar.  We just want them to be as strong as possible going into the winter, although both colonies seem to be doing ok at the moment.

There was nothing much to report this time and we didn’t linger too long as rain was threatening.  Our main focus was to check for eggs/brood and to make sure there was no sign of any disease or swarming.  Although we didn’t see Helga (the queen from Hufflepuff who seems particularly good at hiding in gaps in the wax at the bottom of the frames) there were plenty of eggs and brood and no queen cells.  We did see Rowena (the queen from Ravenclaw) briefly – she seems much more chilled out.  In fact, the two hives definitely have different personalities.  Hufflepuff are much more active and although not aggressive, they were certainly keeping us in check yesterday and I wouldn’t have wanted to be unsuited.  No attempted stings though.  We don’t even use smoke with Ravenclaw – they don’t seem at all bothered by us and I think you could probably go into the hive with bare hands without too much bother.  We’re not going to try that though…

Hufflepuff

Hufflepuff stores

31JulyHuffStores

Stores and capped brood

31JulyHuffStoresBrood

No queen seen this time but lots of new eggs in the cells

31JulyHuffEggs

Stores and capped and uncapped brood

31JulyHuffEggsBroodStores

Still drawing out the comb.  We still have two completely empty frames where they haven’t even started drawing out the comb but we’re anticipating having to add a super at the end of next week.

31JulyHuffDrawingComb

Ravenclaw

Ravenclaw stores

31JulyRavStores

Stores and capped brood

31JulyRavBroodStores

Brood and eggs (if you look closely 🙂 )

31JulyRavBrood

Rowena doing her thang.

31JulyRavQueenBrood

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