Peter Rose, Apiary Manager, has sent this for circulation
‘The first complete inspection of 2019 has been completed over the last 48 hours for the ADBKA hives and findings may be of interest to both new and old members as a snapshot of what is happening locally, but mindful that locations/beekeeper interventions will be different.
Main point of note is that very few eggs or larvae were noted in any hive. However, sealed brood was present, all suggesting that queen laying has been dramatically reduced over the last two weeks in the recent poor weather–up to this weekend. It is clear that bees have been consuming stores at an alarming rate during this time to keep themselves alive, feed brood and maintain brood nest temperature. The weight probe in the electronic Arnia hive shows a weight loss of 9lbs (4kg) between 3-18th April. This break in brood laying may have a delaying effect on swarming as two weeks in the future all sealed brood will have hatched and no more new bees will be emerging for a further 7-10 days, so if hives look a little empty of brood later this will be the reason—-don’t panic.
Little fondant remained from February feeding, and what was left was removed and a queen excluder and a super of drawn frames placed on each hive.
One hive was full of emerged drones with only more sealed drone cells present. No queen could be found (originally marked), so a frame with a few eggs/larvae was given hoping queen cells will be raised and that the queen has been killed/died. Time will tell’