For colonies to survive whilst out on the North Yorkshire Moors, they need to be as strong as possible - and that means the hive needs to be busting at the seams with bees. The brood box also needs to be full with frames of brood, even if that means adding some frames of brood from another healthy colony. Of 11 frames in the brood box, 10 of them should be brood frames otherwise the bees will not put nectar in the super - they will probably store it in the brood frames.
One trick to boost the colony is to add brood frames from the hive next door, and then move that hive somewhere else in the apiary. This will cause the flying bees to seek the nearest hive and so bolster up the number of bees in that hive. And so you've boosted the brood from a donor colony and also boosted the foragers with flying bees from the same donor colony!
Now it's time to get any supers of regular summer removed from the hive with the use of a Clearer Board to drive the bees down from the super(s). The summer supers that come off can't just be left as they will most likely have unripe honey in them. We just need to add them to another strong colony that can finish them off before we extract the honey in August.
For this, we chose two of our strongest Selby colonies - Apollo and Poppy. Both of these colonies have been given a Heather Floor that helps to protect from nasty draughts blowing through the hive.
Apollo with a summer super and Section Rack over the brood box Super removed and ready for the Travel Screen
Once the super was removed, the Travel Screen was fitted and we're ready to go! The super went to Mint for them to finish off. Just got the heavy work of loading Apollo into the truck before we start the journey.
Travel Screen fitted instead of the Crownboard to provide maximum ventilation during their journey
That's Apollo all done! Just need the roof popping on and then she's ready for the off!
Now just got to get Poppy sorted ...