Training session held on the 13th of June 2018.
Another Week at Base. I was better prepared this time and on time, which meant I was able to practice lighting up the smoker: good results, I impressed myself with my newly developed skills (*smug smile*).
This training session I decided to continue following the story of the queenless colony. I remember from last time we had found some charged queen cells and very little brood. I did wonder what we would see today… There were many theories revolving around those queen cells: perhaps it was a case of laying workers trying to miraculously lay a queen, maybe the virgin queen that was introduced earlier died, maybe they had swarmed and a new queen was expected.
Nevertheless, the colony had a little surprise in store for us. It had a hatched queen cell and in fact one or two eggs laid ad-hoc in some cells. It was very difficult to tell and we did squirm and contemplate long and hard but finally decided there were some eggs. So this colony is doing alright afterall, they have a queen!
This left us with the other colony which was still in the nucleus. I knew from last time that this colony was healthy but this time we found new queen cells in the frames. I see a June trend in these hives… Lesson of the day was about recognising queen cells suggesting swarming or superceding of the existing queen.
This session was strange, perhaps because I am a new beekeeper in the branch and the group was made up of mostly experienced individuals who already knew each other well. I was sidetracked and was not able to actively be involved other than asking questions and looking at things form the corner…That wasn’t very nice.