07917 677667 beesatbobs@btinternet.com RJ beekeeping, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

A hive I inspected the beginning of the week had 2 queen cups with eggs in which I knocked down and the queen had reduced her brood. So I felt I had to check tonight (5days on): there were two sealed queen cells and charged cells and bless (Phew!) the queen still there. I obviously missed the charged cells earlier this week and was lucky(?) that the cells must have been sealed late this afternoon as no swarm had issued. What was very obvious was the queen had clearly been slimmed down, her appearance almost virginal (her abdomen smaller than when I saw her last a few weeks ago and more shapely than her usual form!). Obvious signs to look for?