In the apiary

May

Well, after the coldest April for a century the bees will be busting to escape their confines.So. Queen cells!!Check every 9 days and remove any not needed. If you haven’t already started then start a.s.a.p..

They are usually secreted around the edge of brood frames.If you find a cell near the middle of the face of a comb then you have found a supercedure cell and it tells you that the bees are not happy with the queen they have and want to replace her. Leave this cell strictly alone.

This is the first of the really active months. Despite the early morning chills and variable daytime temperatures there are enough hours of daylight to encourage serious nectar gathering by the bees.

Swarms are likely to be fairly plentiful this year but losing one from your own hive will not help you at all. Not only will you have lost a large part of your working force but they could be causing a nuisance to your neighbours.

Loaded queen cells which you have removed could be used to start a nucleus colony – association members need only ask the secretary or their bee buddy how to go about this.

You should be thinking about putting supers on and giving the bees the room they need. In some areas the first honey of the season has already been extracted so if that’s not you then be prepared and have all the equipment ready – not only the extractor but the uncapping knife, strainers and containers to put the honey in.

All must be clean and ready and not left until the supers are standing there waiting for extraction. The sooner the job is done the easier the honey will come out of the comb especially if it is rape honey. If this is left for even a short time it will crystallise in the comb and will have to be scraped or even cut out so ruining the comb and necessitating re-waxing all the frames.   .

May is a busy month. Let’s hope it’s a good one for you

Happy beekeeping.