Brood 4: Brood Area
The Brood Area for each of 4 colonies (each a different scenario) was measured over the 2018 season during the weekly inspections. A Perspex template was used on which a grid was drawn with squares of 5 cm side. Holding this over the brood frame enabled the area of brood to be calculated by counting the number of squares covered and multiplying by 25. Measurements were taken until the middle of September.
From the start of September the bar charts clearly show how the black bee queens rapidly start to go off-lay; there is a step decline in the brood areas. This is the time when the feeding of syrup for the winter starts and the now emptying brood combs are filled with stores. The bees continue to be very busy in the Autumn with the collection of nectar and heavy loads of pollen from the ivy.

Beowulf Cooper in listing the characteristics of the black bee notes:
11. Heavy Late Summer Pollen Storage. He suggests that this pollen is converted to fats on which the bees winter.
12. Early Cessation of Brood Rearing in Late Summer. The sugar fed to the bees at this time is stored without being turned into brood. This characteristic of the black bee more that any other confers the ability to winter on the minimum of stores.
Hive 12 This proved to be the best colony over the season. The brood area would have been larger if the colony had not provided 4 frames of brood for nucs and acted as the colony for the Ben Harden method of producing new queen cells.
This colony did not swarm over the season
Hive 01 was progressing very well until it swarmed on 03 June. At the time I was getting into my bee suit to do the weekly examination; only this time I was two days too late after some poor weather.
A new queen developed from a swarm cell and the colony built up again during the summer.
Hive 09 had a queen from last year but she never performed. The brood area in Spring was always way behind what would normally be expected. This queen was removed at the end of May and a queen cell from a mother queen was inserted.
The bar chart shows that the new queen performed very well.
Hive 04 In this case a newly mated queen was introduced to a nuc 12 June. The frames were transferred to a brood box 24 June and the small colony allowed to build up over the summer.
Next Page: Brood 5: brood feeding
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