The manipulation of full stocks should follow much the same pattern of inspection as that carried out in May and June. The “June Gap” (the ending of the Spring flush of flowers before the start of nectar flow from summer plants) can vary by region, so keep a close eye on the hive entrance. The expected length is about two weeks, unless you are lucky enough to have late flowering field beans nearby, which can fill this gap, if the temperature and humidity is right.

By now, stocks which have swarmed should have young queens laying. Check that the brood is good worker brood. Some queens which have failed to mate, possibly due to bad weather or other problems, start to lay and all offspring produced are drones. If left, the stock will inevitably die out. The remedy is to remove the failed queen and either replace her or insert a frame of young unsealed brood from a donor stock – ideally with a queen cell. When transferring young brood to assist another stock the bees should be brushed off (a wisp of grass or similar can be used if no bee-brush is to hand). The spare comb from the recipient hive can be used in the donor hive, providing all hives are disease free.