#004 – Population: Normal?

Inspection conducted on the 14th of June 2018.

This inspection was swift and quiet. There is nothing to report other than a lot of the larvae from the last inspection are now capped brood. However, the capped brood from last time need a few more days to develop and for new bees to emerge. I know a decreasing population is not unusual for a swarm that has just been placed in a new hive, but I can’t help feeling nervous. Although I keep telling myself that, as of next week, the population will start increasing steadily but rapidly, it’s still strange to see so few bees in the colony and such a quiet buzz.

Uncertainties in my mind include:

  • Will the brood be enough to make a difference in the population by the time the new bees join the colony of workers?
  • Are there enough honey and pollen stores to feed all the brood in the comb? Is there a risk of chalk brood?
  • The honey stores look low compared to the brood cells, has honey robbing occurred?
  • Pretty much all the comb that has been drawn has been filled. Will the increasing population be able to build comb quickly enough?
  • And finally, if they do survive this period of low population, will they be strong enough to survive the coming winter?

The possibility of not having enough honey to collect at the end of the season is fairly high now, but this is not one of my worries; I just hope for the best for my hardworking friends…

Inspection Results: Population seems low, perhaps this is normal. They do seem extremely quiet but I will have to hang in there and see how it goes. The brood was healthy and the queen has been laying in every available cell, yes I have seen brood at all stages. Honey and pollen stores are low, but I am hoping this will pick up by next week and I will start to see noticeable increase in numbers.

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