Sunday, 7 July 2019

Puppy preparing for holiday.

Kangal puppy now 52kg.  Decided to hide favourite bones ready for going away on his first kennels holiday.     First make sure the coast is clear!!
Lastly a careful bit of placement!
 then select the right spot.

My Apiary to date (Early July)

I now have 4 full colonies and 1 small (result of artificial swarm).
I did the a/s as I was going away for a week and the colony was heaving but
had no swarm prep.  They were waiting until they saw the taxi pull  away up the drive before they started a new Q. cell!!
The B/Y colony is the culprit.
Anyway, the 'swarm' hive with red Q. is thriving (split done 9th June).
Bees drawing out comb and Q. filling it with eggs.
The 'original' brood hive started a new Q. cell which should have hatched on 25th June.    …………….  still waiting on 4th July.  Well I've heard that the bees sometimes delay the emergence of the virgin queen  - but 9 days?
Tomorrow I will take a last look and then decide what to do.

Queen marking

Job done -  only possible when you have a Bee Buddy to provide a second pair of eyes!! QB got so excited I forgot to take photo. of the marking ceremony. Below is all you need + a steady hand!

Red is 2018 Q. colour.
As you see below This Q. is a very good layer.  nice regular pattern - no gaps.  Since starting this I have successfully marked all (4) my last year's queens.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Friday 24 May '19 - unplanned inspection - big surprise!!

Sorry - this is a late posting.  Friday was warm and QB couldn't resist the opportunity to Springclean the Beebunker.  However, once in the apiary and watching the bees inning and outing, pollen sacs loaded, I had to look inside the hives. Sadly, only 4 now - Stone, Yellow/blue, Red and Yellow 'H'.

Stone - disappointing - not much going on. Q laying only in the 2 shallow combs. QB adjusted brood nest to encourage stoneQ to move into deep frames.
Yellow/blue - unbelievable!!  Used smoker:  so many bees! Q. laying on 5 frames and started on 6th. QB gave new foundation (to give bees something to do!) Super very heavy - nearly full!  Where is the nectar source? Certainly no Oilseed rape here.  Action - gave 2nd super of drawn comb.
WATCH this  colony!
Red - VERY Strong colony - Q has filled 3 shallow combs + extended comb and has filled 2 deep comb.  Action - gave drawn foundation at side of broodnest for Q to lay in. 
Super not very heavy. No need for 2nd super.
Yellow 'H' - Picking up well Bees extending shallow comb (from winter super) and Q laying in it. Also Q starting laying on deep comb. QB very happy ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Too wet to beekeep! So.....Kangal pups love mud!

A wet cool Bank holiday weekend so what to do?
Qb won't shrink in the rain. Decided to dig out Spring bulbs and rehome them in buckets ………………...

to replant next Autumn.  At least I made a start to empty the tubs.  Then came inside and made a batch of smoker cartridges. Quick and easy and saves time later. Use corrugated cardboard (make sure it isn't fire retardant-ed!), loose-weave sacking and string or brown gumstrip. Roll up tight to fit your smoker. 4 cartridges made in minutes!!   BUT MEANWHILE outside in the rain!!!!
Kangal pups love wet and mud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It wasn't me!  BIG Trouble!!!!!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Silver colony GONE!!!!

QB decided to Spring- clean the apiary this afternoon.  Scraped moss off concrete base - well left some moss on as the bees like to suck it for water.
It isn't very warm but thought I'd have a little peek in the top of each colony to assess the food (candy and Nektapol). All colonies flying except Silver.
That was the colony where the Q laid drone and I found her wandering around on her own 2 weeks ago. The best thing, I thought then with my 45years of accumulated wisdom - Ha! ha!, was to combine Silver with Yellow "H" which also seemed rather weak. Anyway I left it too late.
Today when I opened Silver the hive was completely empty. Not even any dead ones. No sign of Q cells on the comb.
Now I've heard of this happening to other  beekeepers but this is a first for me.
I wonder where they went? Unless one of you lovely readers suggests otherwise I will assume they just mingled with the other colonies on one of those very warm days we've had recently. QBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Kangal on a wet Saturday

No, the photo. isn't upside-down! It's the dog! We've just come back from a walkie. Well some heel practice anyway. In the pouring rain.  So "If you won't play with me the teddy bear gets it!"  and remember blog readers the bear sings "Frostie the Snowman" each time you bite its left paw.