If the weather permits, then this may be an opportunity to tidy up your apiary by clearing the vegetation both underneath and in front of the hive. Bees don't like tall grasses whipping across in front of the hive entrance, and your landlord/landlady will appreciate the effort you make to keep their land tidy - as well as the honey you will be giving them later in the year!

Last week we mentioned introducing a new queen to a colony, but not all introductions are successful.  On occasion when introducing a new queen in a queen cage, the bees have allowed her to enter the colony once the fondant has been eaten through, and on checking after a few days both queen and eggs have been seen. Success you think!  Not necessarily.

When returning to check the colony a week or so later, the queen was nowhere to be found and queen cells were present. The bees obviously didn't like the new queen but were prepared to allow her to lay so they could create one of their own choice.

To prevent this happening you can purchase, or make, an introduction cage to cover an area on a frame with both sealed brood and empty cells, protected from the worker bees in the colony. The queen can be released into this cage, with her travelling companions to look after her, lay and once the sealed brood emerge they will protect her as she is the only queen they have seen.  By this time the remainder of the colony should become receptive to the new queen and the introduction cage can be removed allowing her to have full run of her colony.

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