Yesterday Paul came and helped me inspect my hive, as I hadn’t had a look since August 18th and was nervous of the cross-combing problem! We found various things of interest. I have described before how the bees are building honeycomb (ie wider) on the end of each bar furthest from their side entrance, necessitating adding shims to prevent bulging on to the next bar. This time we simply prised each bar apart, allowing the extra shim(s) to adhere where necessary. Not ideal but it seemed OK and meant we didn’t have to cut combs apart. The bees were calm. We didn’t see the queen but there were uncapped larvae present so she must have been there recently.
We noticed the bees are avoiding building comb around one of the dowelling “posts” which I added to the bars to give stability to the combs (see photo). Has anyone else noticed happening this (if they have followed this idea)?
Then we found a capped queen cell! And we are wondering what is likely to happen next? Are they planning to abscond? I am pretty sure my queen is this year’s, as the swarm I got at the end of May was small, so must have been a cast. There were some drones present, but not very many. Why would they make a queen cell – can anyone shed light on this for me? I will (try to) upload a photo.
I have also, today, given them a big jar of thick syrup – their stores are pretty light so far so they obviously need a boost.