Following the last publication two days ago of the ‘Arrival of the Bees‘ posting, I asked Charles Millar (Whom I acquired the Bees from) of Bee-keeping at Tiger Hall, to give my video and comments the once over just in case I had missed anything.
“If you haven’t already done so, I suggest moving your frames right next to the ones from the nuc straight away. If you don’t, the bees may start to build wild comb in the gap.
Your frames are DN1 – i.e. they are not self spacing like the ones in the nuc. It is essential therefore that you use the correct spacers on the ends of your frames. If you don’t you will have serious problems. You should be able to fit 11 frames plus a dummy board into the brood box (or, at a pinch, 12 frames.) (I would recommend that you buy DN4 – I.e. Hoffman – frames in future.)
If you haven’t got spacers, in the mean time you will have to position your frames ‘by eye’. You are aiming for the same spacing as provided by the frames in the nuc, which is about 35mm from centre to centre.
You should move the 5 frames from the nuc into the middle of your brood box so the bees can expand in both directions.
A little nerdy info – the main reason smoke works is that it masks the transmission of pheromones within the colony, in particular alarm pheromone. The ‘filling up with honey’ effect is also true but it is slower, and needs more smoke, which is more disruptive to the colony. You will probably need only a little smoke at the start of your inspection and then just the odd puff to move the bees away from the frame ends.
Anyway, well done, and good luck!”
Today’s urgent task was to heed the warnings above and move the original frames to the centre of the hive, apply spacers to the frames and fill up any gaps with more frames.
Upon inspection of the hive the first thing I noted was that the feed was almost out, therefore they are consuming about a 1 cup of sugar / 1 cup of water per day. so I topped up with a further days mix and will look to top it up tomorrow and then again about every 3 days until I can gauge their consumption.
Removal of the crown board revealed a 80mm wild comb attached to the crown board as predicted by Charles, this was subsequently removed, its amazing how quickly and perfectly this was formed, I feel slightly guilt now given the effort that went into making it!
I applied the spacers to the frames as detailed in a previous post
A big thank you for Charles for looking in on the posts, that wild comb would have been a mess if left any longer.
Next Time…. I will still be reporting on my first inspection, and detailing what tasks I need to be doing this month with the apiary.