With the oilseed rape almost over some supers should be ready to come off. If they are three-quarters capped it should be safe to extract them but don’t leave it too long or the honey will set in the comb which means that it will have to be cut out thus ruining the comb and necessitating new foundation. We now look to field beans or borage to continue our crop.
The weekly inspections for queen cells must still continue – miss one cell and you could well lose a swarm. A lone cell in the middle of the face of a brood comb is a supercedure cell and should be left alone as the colony has determined to re-queen itself unless, of course, you’d prefer to do the job yourself. For safety some beekeepers prefer to leave two queen cells “just in case” but you will need to be alert to them hatching.
Swarms can be a grave nuisance to all in their vicinity and every effort should be made to prevent them since it could mean the end of your honey crop as most of your adult workers will have gone and by the time the young queen has started to lay the season could well be over.
Do try to make increase if you can. If you don’t want the extra colonies there is someone on the list the secretary has who would be grateful for some bees.
Finally, if you are in difficulty, please contact a member of your association as they will be only too pleased to help.