Friday, 18 May 2018

QB's sister came to stay - she's left now so, back to business!

Yesterday QB did a full apiary inspection. Big sigh of relief as it looks as if "Stone" Q is laying.  More later - weather too good to miss finishing prepping the veg. garden for Sweetcorn and Leeks, also for Globe Artichokes.
All Queens safely at home and laying. Blue Queen in Red colony
has slowed down though. Will they supersede her? -
or should QB step in?
Colonies above left to right Yellow 'H', Red, Blue/Yellow, Silver, Stone.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

"Stone" colony's Q gone?

This colony's Q started laying in the super above the brood box.  I had removed the QX for the winter. When I found all stages of brood in 3 drawn worker comb on that first inspection I moved all the bees into the brood box and offered a prayer to that Great Beemaster in the sky - who turned out not to be listening at the time. Next inspection this is what I found in the super. Not impressed so I paid a visit to their next-door neighbour the "Silver" hive whose Q is laying very well.
 They kindly gifted a lovely comb of eggs and young larvae. Let's see what the "Stone" colony will do with it! The pale patch is larvae.

Bye for now QBzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Running behind -

QB is a bit behind schedule!  Just loaded some pictures.
Off out to plant the Sprouts. Back later with news about "Stone" hive.
Today's hot, but rain coming in from the west - so see you later today.
Meanwhile, what do you think of this?

Thursday, 10 May 2018

20C? Time to have a plan!!!

QB never opens the hives without a pre-thought plan. Saturday, 5th May turned out to be a SCORCHER. Good time to inspect as the bees will be far too busy foraging and spring-cleaning to pay any attention to me.
There are 5 hives in a staggered line facing slightly different directions.
Each colony now has a1 deep brood, a queen excluder and 1 (or 2) supers of stores. I start at the furthest hive and then I don't have to deal with flying bees who have picked up alarms from other colonies.
The plan: Lift super and place to one side covered by crown board.
              : Inspect QX carefully to ensure Q not on it- lean it beside entrance
              : Take first frame out to make space to move other frames along.
              : Lift each frame in turn, carefully examine (dark side first)
We are looking at the state of the brood, stores (pollen& honey), behaviour of the bees. Is the Q there? Eggs? Stages of larvae?
Tune in tomorrow for my results and a shock!!
Here's a new flower in my garden - I could just eat it myself!
Tulip sp. Peppermint Stick closed

Peppermint stick opens to the Sun.
Black pollen - the bees love it.


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Still too cold for my lot!

Sorry for no postings for a while. QB's eye had an argument with a sharp bamboo cane and ended up at the RVI - not much fun!
The first butterfly of 2018! A Peacock feeding on the flowers of "Spring Showers" - a weeping cherry very attractive to pollinators.
Ribes sp. at last in flower. This Q. Bumblebee has ventured out
to feed - but then she has a thick fur coat! No honeybees yet.


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Moving house cont.

QB didn't spot QB but found eggs.  Had to take great care when brushing the bees off the super (nearly full of freshly capped honey). Didn't want to lose the QB.or trap her above the QX!!
These workers' pollen baskets are full of Alder (pale) and Salix (golden) pollen.
They're piling it into the new premises. As the brood comb is quite full of sealed honey
there is little room for the Q to lay. The bees need more space to move this honey into.   So I've put a super of new foundation above the QX and below the old super ( which is also quite full). Spring is the best time to get new comb drawn.
Next job - clean, scrub, scorch the old hive bits ready for the next colony to move into. Is a QB's work never done??

17C - moving bees to clean/disease-free hives

Yes, perfect day to begin the moves.  I start at one end of the apiary and, each day transfer the next colony on to the scorched, scrubbed hive of the one before.  Got it?
First  part of move.
Brood box on the left is now on the clean floor.
The old floor in the middle is now empty - ready for cleaning.
The super on the right will be brushed clear of bees and placed above a clean QX above the brood box.