Monday, 29 June 2015

Heatwave coming! 2015!!!

Take advantage of the hot weather to get that Solar Wax Extractor working.
All those bits of wax and old comb will quickly be rendered down and
cleaned in the next few days.
Still no sign of swarming prep. in any of my colonies.  Good news?...... or bad!
Think about it QBzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Good day for thorough inspection

Bees on Wisteria, May blossom and Rowan.
Great day today - good for  colony inspection - the bees will probably be plotting to swarm!
Whatever you do don't destroy Q. cells until you are sure the colony has a queen.  You could set up a nuc. to use towards the end of the season to strengthen a weak colony.
Inspection Check List -
Clean debris from board under varroa mesh.
Check stores - 1st in brood nest (pollen and honey)
                      - 2nd in supers
Prepare to add super if approx. 1/3 honey is sealed.
Check every comb in brood box - esp. sides and bottom of frames. You're looking for queen cells
or cups with royal jelly and larva.
Find Q. - easy if you marked her.  Look for eggs.  If no eggs and can't find Q. the bees could be
preparing to swarm. Not much you can do except keep an eye on them and fetch them back!!
You could try an artificial swarm if you find an uncapped Q cell.  If the Q cell is capped then most
likely they'll swarm.
Goes without saying to always keep an eye open for signs of brood disease. If in any doubt call in
your seasonal bee-inspector.
I'm off to check my hives while the sun is still shining.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Windy Saturday/Sunny Sunday

Too windy today to open the hives.  The bees will probably be in a bad mood anyway.
Most will stay at home planning the next swarming day!
I'll wait until tomorrow - bright, calm and sunny all day.
So today will be a good day to make up some new frames of foundation -
I'll put a strip of unwired wax in some ready for some cut-comb honey. This is the
favourite of local people.  The thing to remember is that the bees will need to produce
more wax.  For 1lb of wax they need to consume 10lbs of honey.  This is why comb honey
costs more to buy than liquid extracted honey. The bee's own comb is vastly superior to
foundation sheets (even the thinnest, prime quality)
Here endeth etc. etc.  More news when I have made a full inspection tomorrow.  QB

Friday, 5 June 2015

Queen Bee back from Venice

Now for some proper "beekeeping"!
Yes, we had a ride on a gondola!Add caption

 When we arrived back home the wisteria was just opening and it was literally buzzing.

Now don't mock!  Yes that is a black Northern bee. It took me a good 20mins. of
patient waiting to get this very inferior shot.

The perfume from the wisteria fills the house.On my next venture into the hives I will be counting how many brood combs have been filled - and then judge the strength of each colony - and then decide what to do next!  QB back soon.