Monday, 14 August 2017

After Broadband Prob. Fixed - Q. Bee is back!!!

Sorry for long absence. I guess this is one of the (not) joys of living in an isolated spot!  Anyway, thanks to the wonderful Alan my Bb speed is now scary.
I'll fill in the missing excitement later and just tell you about now.
On August 7th we took 1 hive ( Red colony with Blue Q. still laying well!)
to a nearby heather moor.  I had transferred the bees, a huge colony, to a Polyhive. WBC is hopelessly tricky to move intact. The Polyhive is National size, so takes the British Standard frames but you need more -
about 11 instead of 10.(Pics later)
We went to Acton Scott (Edwardian) Farm while on holiday in Shropshire.
Shire horses do the work - this is King Bee giving Charlie some Polo Mints.

....and Mary in the Dairy making butter.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Beekeeper's Assessment Exam. - QB sat it today!

Want to know more?

2 Sorts of Nucs.

Red Hive has a V.V. good queen.  Bred in Alnwick Apiary in 2015, marked blue, she is the best Q I have ever lived with. Her colony is well-behaved, calm, not at all stingey!  They did produce a q. cell which I put in a Polnuc.
I added some capped brood and some pollen and honey with 3 undrawn foundation. Last week no sign of a new Q. (daughter of V.V.Q.)
So I gave the bees some eggs from Bl/Ye who wouldn't miss them. Today  the bees hadn't started to build a new Q. from the gifted eggs BUT I found eggs and small larvae. So, Red Q. daughter has started a new colony. (Hope
she's as good as her mother!).Depends on the drone quality she met in the
Silver Nuc. -moved blue Q (2015) into polynuc on 2 July as her colony had
built 2 excellent Q cells and threatened to swarm.However, blue Q has disappeared. BUT, the bees have made 2 very nice Q cells in the nuc.
Nucs must be fed with sugar syrup to help them build new comb for their young Q. to lay her eggs in.
At dusk, feeding Rednuc. Sugar:water 1:1.
In the photo above  you can see the feeder with bees clamouring for food. They have no foraging bees to collect nectar, until a new Q starts laying.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Full Apiary inspection: Part 2

WBC hives in my apiary - vary in height depending on number of honey supers.
The 3 tallest have 4 supers each and are called Red, Y/B, and Silver (ident. by coloured stones in front). These are my strongest colonies and may be planning to swarm.  Red and Silver have 3 year-old queens (marked blue for 2015). B/Y has a white marked Q (emerged 2016). Gets complicated doesn't it? Anyway, on 2nd July inspection this is what I found and did.
Red:  expected swarm preps. Found queen after going through 2x. Plenty of
eggs, larvae and capped brood. Plenty of laying space and pollen stores.
The bees were polite and nice, so I decided to leave them alone.
Y/B: Expected swarm prep. No sign. No queen cups or q.cells. Saw Q. laying - nice even combs. I gave them a super of Manley frames (self-spacing) 2 weeks ago (as an experiment) but they are not storing any nectar
in them - yet? Left them alone!
Silver: expected this colony to be OK.  BUT - found  about 8 nice Q cells, some with larvae, some capped. Set up an artificial swarm by moving Q., now very slim, into a poly-nuc.  This exciting be continued.
Will Queen Bee manage to stop Blue Queen swarming with Silver workers?

Monday, 3 July 2017

Full apiary inspection- part 1

6 hives and 1 nucleus. Quite a task! As a taster here's a comb from YellowH
colony. More tomorrow, when Queen Bee has got her head around several tricky situations. 7 colonies, 7 completely different. I Loooove this lot!
Wall to wall capped brood.
A few empty cells: why?

Bees and Roses

Great name for a pop group!  Anyway the rambling rose over our front door is the best it's ever been - and the honey bees seem to agree.  This morning
every flower had a little bee bum sticking out of it!  The perfume and the humming were just what an English summer day should be like.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Warning message from NBU

A message from NBU reports colonies in some areas are starting to show high levels of mite presence eg. wing deformities and perforated cappings.
Find how to monitor colony mite population on p. 15 of "Managing Varroa"
booklet ( FERA). Varroa calculator is useful to calculate you estimated mite population. cfm
Treatments currently allowed (after honey crop removal): Apiguard, Apilife var, Thymovar. Only MAQS (formic acid base) (Mites Away Quick strips)
can be used while honey crop is still on the hives.
Apistan and Bayvarol are allowed but are getting some reports of mite resistance.

Queen Bee would never consider applying any chemicals while the honey
is still on the hives. Never....Ever....!

Big apiary inspection this weekend (if the weather behaves itself) -
stand by!

Monday, 26 June 2017

1) Bird Bath 2) Count varroa

Remember the bees need water.  I have noticed how they ignore the dish with moss that I put in the apiary!  They choose the woodchip garden paths or the hanging baskets - but favourite is the bird bath.
2 now, but wait till the "buzz" gets around!

2)Time to count the varroa drop preparatory to treatment with icing sugar. White paper on tray
shows those horrid shiney red bodies well.  But
if you leave in place too long the slugs move in!

Too long - 15 days
7 days - easier to count
 BBKA News July 2017 has very useful advice on varroa treatments.

Saturday, 24 June 2017


Dear Bee'pers - Blog now underway thanks to AdBee.
 Otterburn bees are in swarmy mode!! Several Redesdale colonies are causing us problems.
Queen Bee's bees are still at home and Red Colony needed the "7 day" check today, but it's far too windy and not all that warm. So, wait till tomorrow.Below, owlet emerges from owlbox.
This week's worst picture!!

Queen Bee communicating with subjects at Kew

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Queen Bee Is Back

Sorry about the two year absence, I blame the technology!
I'll tell you everything about my bees very soon.
The Hive at Kew - WOW - More later...