Throughout the winter we fed the bees fondant to keep them going. We felt sorry for stealing honey so late in the season and are worried that we hadn't left them with enough to survive. The weather has been horrible and although we wanted to check the bees from the 1st April ideally (swarming season begins) the weather has been so horrible that we haven't had a chance.
Note to self: If it isn't raining check them rather than waiting for a nice sunny day.
Today we popped over with all our bee kit to do the first inspection of the year on the lovely sunny day. On arrival we are approached by a frantic brother-in-law. They have just been informed by a neighbour that there are bees at the top of a lamp post. ooops!
BBKA Swarm Collector is called and Camilla comes to save the day. Very efficient she thankfully has a very long ladder to get to the top of the lamp-post and makes it seem so easy.
Meanwhile we check the hive and notice that there are 4 queen cells which have been chewed open and and see 7 other queen cells. There are also no eggs although a few larvae can be seen and capped cells.This is not looking good. Hopefully we have a few days while the bees regroup before another swarm. Our queen is nowhere to be seen, it is obviously our swarm.
Disaster averted temporarily and most neighbours are none the wiser.