I inspected my TWO hives on Sunday with some trepidation.
Hive A: My hopes were raised when I looked in the old hive (the one that swarmed 5 weeks ago) and I saw white “stuff” at the bottom of some of the cells. To a desperate, novice beekeeper, they looked a bit like uncapped larvae. To members of the Beekeeping Forum, with no emotional attachment to my hives, it was definetly granulated honey stores. In conclusion, there may, or maynot, be a newly-laying Queen. Advice from beekeepers welcome.
Hive B: The newly hived swarm seemed to be doing nicely. The first thing that amazed me was that they had drunk all the sugar syrup I had given them. They had drawn out most of the frames and were starting to fill them with nectar and pollen. I was hoping to see eggs, but it was 5pm, the light was poor and I could not see any. The only worry about this hive is that Dad report enormous amounts of activity at about 1.30pm and he showed me some photos and it looked like they might have been planning to swarm. So this might be a Queenless hive too. Advice appreciated.
This is my first year of beekeeping and it’s even more complex than I originally thought. Four days of training, some experience and numerous books had not shown me any photos of granulated stores or given me a definitive answer on what to do in the circumstances I have described in a number of posts. There is a constant uncertainty around not having a laying Queen and further swarming. I had hoped to be an OK beekeeper in my first year and make 2-3 supers of honey. I am now seeing this period as a huge learning experience.
I am going to phone a friend.