Open Sesame!

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A busy weekend all round. On Saturday I took a trip to what I hope is going to be my new apiary on a nature reserve. As they're holding regular work days at the moment to keep things under control I've been lending a hand too and one of the tasks this time around was to clear an area behind some brambles off the main path to make room for some beehives so it seemed rude to leave something being done for my benefit for everyone else to sort out.

We cleared an area that is far bigger than I need initially as I'm only intending/hoping to place one colony there this year to see how it goes, while there's no open vehicular access to the site day to day it is still open to the public. Them, in combination with lots of badgers living there, means I'm a little wary about rushing down to place lots of colonies to start with. While stealing them might be tricky, kids lobbing rocks at them is far more likely and while they are 50 meters or so away from the main path, they are likely to be visible from it and I dare say draw the curious to come take a look. But if all goes well, there is plenty of room already prepared to take additional colonies.

Sunday involved a trip to the allotment to get some onions planted. While there I finally fell to temptation to take a peek inside the hive and see how they're getting on and building up. I'd been up on Tuesday to add a litre or syrup and a bit of fondant to keep them ticking over in the rain while we wait for the allotment to burst into flower.

The fondant was gone and half the syrup too and while it was a little windy, the sun was out and the temperature reasonable so off came the feed and the crownboard.

Given that it was still a little cool for my liking I did a "half" inspection. Starting at the back frames I worked forwards until I hit stores then forwards again until I hit brood and had a quick look at first frame containing brood, mostly sealed and looking ok. I then took a look at the first frame from the entrance (I have my frames warm way) intending to do the same as before but this frame contained brood in all stages rather than the stores I'd been expecting.

This, I believe, means I have 4 frames of brood and 2 (and a bit) of stores at the moment although I didn't disturb the rest of the brood as I didn't want to disturb things too much.

I've had the floor in for the past week and counted a whole varroa mite, however as I didn't treat with OA over winter I decided to apply an Apiguard Tray, my experience in the autumn was the day to day mite drop didn't appear to correspond with the Treatment drop that I saw, i.e. I had a lot more mites drop from the apiguard treatment than than the weekly drop suggested were present.

I know it's still a little below the recommended temperature for Apiguard at the moment and that one of the side effects can be a reduction in queen laying, but as I experienced no reduction, that I noticed, in the autumn and conscious that time is ticking on, I've decided to risk it as this colony has a lot of work to do this year.

While its been quiet on the database development front, I have now started to store "live" information in it. So far so good, the front end is giving me a bit of a headache at the moment, but it's mainly working as intended.

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