Tips for the Month:

  • Keep up weekly inspections to check for queen cells. Even if you have done a swarm prevention or had a swarm leave your hive, if the colony builds up strongly there may still be another swarm.

  • After selecting a good sealed queen cell make sure you check all the frames by shaking the bees off to ensure you have not left any queen cells - emergency queen cells are hard to spot. Don’t shake the frame with the chosen queen cell - brush the bees off.

  • If your bees have not swarmed but your queen is aging, consider making up a nuc with the old queen and forcing the bees in the old hive to make queen cells and produce a new queen.

  • Do not disturb the nuc or colony where a new queen is being produced for at least 3 weeks from the date you left a sealed queen cell. It can sometimes take longer before the new queen starts laying.

  • Continue to put on extra supers when ¾ of frames are covered by bees.

  • If your bees are near oilseed rape remove supers once they have been sealed and extract immediately before it crystallises.

  • Make sure colonies have sufficient stores - there is a lot of brood to feed at this time of year. If there are no supers on the hive make sure there are at least 2 frames of stores