Saturday was a perfect day to inspect all my hives. I was surprised that with colonies as strong as they are, that I am not seeing queen cells as yet. A few play cups along the tops of frames, but nothing yet appearing along the the bottom bars or central in a frame. The only queen cell I found was in the hive I split last week. I left two queen cells when I split this hive, one capped and one with a larvae in it. The capped cell has emerged so I removed the second queen cell which was now capped. I later opened up the cell and as you can see in the photo, the fully formed queen bee, probably a week away from emerging. Hopefully the emerged queen has mated and I will see the first eggs when I do inspections next week.
My other hives are all strong. I am pleased that the one hive I was concerned about, in which I introduced a new queen, is back on track. She is laying and I could spot eggs and young larvae curled up in the bottom of many cells. I am expecting all the hives, which are all with one and half brood boxes to want to swarm soon. So hopefully I will spot queen cells next week and can then split these hives.
Even with the bad weather we have been having, I have a few supers full of honey. Some capped, so will get these extracted as soon as the oil seed rape stops flowering. I love opening up the hive and seeing the bees hard at work. As you can see in the photograph, bees lined up along the tops of the frames in a super all busily filling or capping cells.