Top left: On the right hand side of the frame, you can see the new queen (marked with a white dot) that was recently introduced to the A-hive; she has not yet produced any off-spring.
Top right: Our 6-frame and 3-frame nucs on the upper balcony.
Bottom left: Harvesting honey from the first hive. By the time we reached the 3rd hive, things were a little less calm amongst the bee population …
Bottom centre: We pull the frames to be harvested from the hives and put them into separate boxes, protected with a thick plastic lid. But some bees are usually determined to follow us inside.
Bottom right: A bucket full of lovely honey with a bit of pollen floating on the surface.
Yesterday, on what must have been the hottest day of the year so far here in Stockholm (32°C), we decided to do a second honey harvest round. It took 10 hours to get the harvestable frames indoor from the first two hives, extract, put the frames back, take the harvestable frames from the next three hives, and repeat the process. We only have three bee escapes (2 for the wooden hives, 1 for the styrofoam hives), so it was good to have a 2 hr break in the middle of the day when it was too hot to even think about putting on a beesuit – we used the gap to put a bee escape on one of the styrofoam hives. Brushing down bees from a honey frame gets more and more unpleasant as time goes on, when the hive is disturbed and starts agitating. But I must give it to our bees … I still haven’t been stung. In the end, we had just over 40 kgs of beautiful honey. One large bucket full. The honey from the first two hives tasted different than that of the last three. It should make up a lovely mix. It took a good hour or so to clean up all the equipment. Only one more (smaller) harvest to go we think, somewhere in August.
We did also inspect the two nucs on the upper balcony: one has 6 frames, the other 3. The 3-frame had fresh brood. Could we find the queen? NO! It’s pathetic! How is it possible to not find an admittedly unmarked queen on 3 frames? Argh. The 6-frame nuc had no new brood (we probably – unintentionally – moved the queen over last week to the 3 frame one …) but a couple of queen cells on the go, so we left them be.
The small split at the back of the house (the F-hive) into which we introduced a new queen last week had fresh brood so this queen has started laying. Could we find this queen? NO!
On Friday night, we also inspected the A-hive, which also has a new queen. We spotted her, but she had not started laying. Fingers crossed she gets going, this colony has now been without fresh brood for about 3 weeks.