Its really amazing how quickly the bees flourish in the right weather conditions. It is only two months since we were feeding them extra fondant to stop them starving in a very cold March and now one of our hives is already producing queen cells. In this picture you can see the queen larva in a pool of royal jelly.
Denman hive: brood on 5 frames with one of those all eggs. (20% egg/capped ratio). Honey and pollen in brood but none in supers yet. Happy and calm
Rosybee 1: brood on 6 frames, eggs round capped centres. Signs of beginning to put honey in first super
Rosybee 2: brood on 7 frames and uncapped queen cells found on 3 frames, all along the bottom bar indicating swarm cells. Some of the brood frames still have space taken by old 'rape' honey which is taking some of the space and the rest is full of new honey and pollen. No signs of honey in supers but they are inspecting it. Only 1 complete frame and other bits available for laying so assume it is lack of laying space is the cause of the swarming signs.
Action: Took artificial swarm, moved one almost capped and very healthy looking queen cell plus 2 other frames of brood and one of honey and pollen.
We have the local beekeeping group doing an apiary visit next weekend so we will get some expert opinions then.