Emerald Green Queen Charlotte
As new Queen Charlotte had been in residence for a week and I had the impression yesterday that the girls were a bit unhappy, perhaps with the temporary hive location and/or overcrowding. last night I had moved their small five-frame hive to a new location just 8m or so from the house where I can keep an eye on them.
At the same time prepared a full size 12 frame hive should overcrowding be an issue. Around midday when the girls had got used to their new location and were flying freely, opened up the box to see if:
a) Queen Charlotte had got out of her prison cage.
b) was alive.
c) the worker bees hadn't in the meantime built an emergency queen cell which could then hatch & kill Queen Charlotte or make her swarm.
d) the colony seemed to be happy with her.
e) she was laying eggs.
Almost everything was perfect. Yes, the workers had begun to make a replacement queen cell during the time they had been queenless which shows the amazing ability of bees but had clearly stopped when Charlotte arrived. I have left the cell for the moment which is not capped as a reserve should something go wrong. With weekly checks, this poses no threat should for some reason the workers decide to reactivate.
It's not a bad idea to have it for the moment just in case Charlotte turns out to only lay male/drone eggs or indeed should she not be a good layer. It was difficult to judge how well she is performing as my eyesight is still not good and the frames were jam-packed. So took the opportunity to rehouse them in the full-size hive.
Not expecting any honey from them this year although depending on what type of honey they store, I may need to remove it and feed them "artificial" sugar which is more suitable for winter stores. Honeydew honey is, for instance, unsuitable & there are disputes among UK beekeepers about the common late-season ivy honey for winter stores as it crystallises too quickly and is reportedly difficult for them to eat. We don't have any significant ivy here.
So things looking good for Queen Charlotte. I was able to spot her easily thanks to her marking but had expected a more neon-green colour. However give she is named after granddaughter Charlotte living on the green Emerald Isle of Ireland, very appropriate.
Early morning (8:30 am) the annual delivery of six tonnes of wood pellets arrived by tanker - extra photo. I have posted enough Blips in the past of the truck blowing the pellets into the storage room. As always from the company we have used almost exclusively for the last 13 years, the entire operation was a breeze. From the moment I phone them to get a quote until the truck leaves our property, they are a model business.
Although a "small" family business, they have grown well and retained the best of the local, small, service feel while building a franchise around this & the quality of what they do. They have a franchise business in the UK, The Wood Pellet Delivery Co of Norwich which serves East Anglia & adjoining eastern counties. I hope that Brexit doesn't finish this off.