Queen Marking – Honey Bees
Got a chance to go through some hives this morning, basically I was checking for queen cells to prevent swarming. None seen, but I saw 2 queens in 2 hives and managed to get them marked. This years colour mark is yellow and this is the colour mark on any queen you will receive from a commercial beekeeper this year. As a hobby beekeeper I mark mine white. I do this as it is the easiest colour for me to spot the queen when doing inspections.
Unfortunately I found one of my colonies with out any brood or eggs. Still a very strong colony in numbers and not aggressive. Last week there was plenty of sealed brood which no doubt has emerged. Why the queen has stopped laying I do not know. I could not see her within the hive. I am looking at two options – I can either purchase a new queen and introduce her. Or as I am going to do. is to remove a frame of eggs from another hive and place these in the queenless hive. If the hive is queenless the worker bees will feed an egg or two with royal jelly to produce queen cells. On further inspection in a week or so, I will see if they have produced a queen cell which can grow until the new queen emerges. Any other queen cells I will remove.
It was good to meet many of you who visited the BBKA Spring Convention. I treated myself to a new smoker plus I bought some wired queen excluders with wood surrounds, for each hive. I have placed these on each hive, certain they are going to be better than the plastic or galvanised steel ones I had in place before.