Sunday 17 May 2020

May 2020 Just out of Winter Lockdown

     This is ornamental cherry "Snow in Spring".  It was buzzing on the day I took this shot - Queen Bumbles and worker honeybees.


Ribes - flowering currant - smells of cat pee but beloved
by all bees!
Anyway how are they doing?

The hives have a fresh lick of bee-friendly "Shades" paint
But look at this old comb.  Next job - fresh foundation. Sorry about spacing!
Out of practise. BZZZZ

Thursday 14 May 2020

Back by HUGE popular demand

Dearest Blog Readers - you haven't heard from Queen Bee since last July.
However, Queen Bee is now Flying High (at safe distancing which is .5mm for me and my attendants.

 Kangal "puppy" Dak now 18months and a tad more charming.
You'll want to know how the honeybees are doing - tell you later. XQBzzz

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!!!!!