ApisProtect has performed very detailed hive inspections in our research apiary in Cork. The hives are 11 frame Nationals and the frame counts for bees, honey, pollen and brood are recorded on a per frame basis, as well as noting the presence of both the queen and eggs.
The March, April and May inspections for hive 1792 are illustrated in the first figure. The graph has the percentage coverage on the y-axis and the frame numbers on the x-axis. For example, frame 8 in the top graph was 40% covered in bees, 30% honey and 60% brood (which included the presence of eggs).
The colony is clearly growing in strength and the queen is laying more. The graph raises a number of questions as to why the colony is more to the front of the hive, rather than central as is usually expected;
- Is it warmer at the front as the hive faces east?
- Are frames 1-4 older and the bees are favouring the newer frames?
- Is it related to airflow in the hive?
Another colony, 1252, is making full use of the space available to them. So much so that the queen is now looking for space to lay eggs on the outer frames.
In the latest inspection, the queen was not seen as the hive was brimming with bees. Uncapped queen cells were seen forming and there is a tremendous amount of brood in the hive. This colony will swarm within days if no action is taken. As a beekeeper, how do you deal with swarming?
All of your inspection data can be entered and viewed on our interactive dashboard to help with both bee hive and apiary management.
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