Breeding Commences !

Posted by Peter 19/04/2014 0 Comment(s)

We've commenced queen breeding/rearing, which ever you prefer.  Only managed one graft this week, grafting 33 larvae with 14 taking. Another graft will be done on Tuesday and I expect a much better take.

Again not a massive amount of beekeeping this week.  Went round to see how the bees were doing.  Where I'd put on a second brood, the bees were in and the queens laying, I'll look to reverse those this week.  Reversing helps spread the brood nest and needs to be done on bees of the right strength.  If the bees have just come into the second box with the brood nest and you have capped larvae, you can swap the broods round. Once reversed, effectively at that point, you'll have a small arch of brood at the bottom of the bottom frames and a brood nest extending to the top of the second box.  The queen will lay up the gap between the two to create a brood extending over two brood boxes.  This must be done with care as a colony of insufficient strength may leave the brood to die and it can set you back.  Some colonies I looked at I'll leave as the queen had already laid to the top of the second box so reversal would gain nothing.  These colonies if strong enough will be checker boarded to spread the brood nest sideways so frames in between can be laid up.

My current plan is to try and get the bees to the end of the rape before splitting but I might have to do some progressive splits (robbing the odd frame of bees from colonies and adding a queen) as I do the rounds.  I'd like to give them all plenty of room but just don't have enough supers at present.

Update 22 April