There is still a lot of activity and a ,lot of worker larvae still to hatch. Our worry is that the new bees won't find enough pollen and nectar now that the main flowering season is over and grasses predominate in the fields and in the forest. Not sure what they are feeding on at the moment.
(From left to right, hives #4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
We managed to get through three hives.
- we checked #8 hive (one of the split hives) to make sure there was a functioning queen and we removed a couple of queen cups and some drone larvae (photos below). No sign of parasites on the grubs though.
- in #7 hive we discovered that there were only nine frames instead of ten, which meant the bees had filled the space with their own combs. It was a bit of a mess but we took away the extra honey comb and a lot of drone larvae and put in a tenth frame to tidy things up. There were some nice clean frames too, full of honey (see photo below).
- in #1 hive (one of the split hives) there was not much honey and not much activity, a weak hive.
P. is planning to get a bee buddy over to give an expert opinion on the state of our hives and advice on the next steps.
There are two queen cups protruding from the right-hand edge so we removed them. These contain larvae for new queens (which we don't need).
Next to the upper queen cup there are a couple of drone larvae which we also removed. Some of the other frames had dozens of drone larvae which we had to pick out with a metal comb. These fat white bugs are given to our neighbours' hens who love 'em.
We're starting to wonder how beekeepers with hundreds of hives manage to cope. It's very labour intensive and heavy, physical work.