Category Archives: Bee

Bee gone

We have failed. The Bees are dying out through the lack of a queen. All we can hope is that later in the season we can catch a swarm.

Disappointed, but Becs has said that she won’t be beaten and is going to try again. ­čśŽ


Bees

We did another bee inspection late afternoon yesterday after another warm day. There is a fair amount of beetivity but disappointingly there is little or no Brood on the frames. There is about one and a half frames of honey and a fair amount of drawn out come. One of the frames appears to have mould on it which presumably means the hive struggled for ventilation through the winter.
We also couldn’t find the queen. The lack of brood seems to make sense if there is no queen although it’s possible she just hasn’t started laying yet this year. They all seem pretty calm if they have no queen, but basically if they don’t, or if none of the very small amount of brood that is there turns into a queen cell the hive will basically die out.
We will do another inspection at the weekend to see if there is any change.


Spring

Virgil’s Bees

Bless air’s gift of sweetness, honey
from the bees, inspired by clover,
marigold, eucalyptus, thyme,
the hundred perfumes of the wind.
Bless the beekeeper

who chooses for her hives
a site near water, violet beds, no yew,
no echo. Let the light lilt, leak, green
or gold, pigment for queens,
and joy be inexplicable but there
in harmony of willowherb and stream,
of summer heat and breeze,
each bee’s body
at its brilliant flower, lover-stunned,
strumming on fragrance, smitten.

For this,
let gardens grow, where beelines end,
sighing in roses, saffron blooms, buddleia;
where bees pray on their knees, sing, praise
in pear trees, plum trees; bees
are the batteries of orchards, gardens, guard them

Carol Ann Duffy

 


2nd Bee inspection

It was my turn to handle the hive this inspection. Becs did the smoking. I am really pleased to say we found the Queen. She was stood in the middle of a frame full of royal jelly singing “we will, we will rock you”…..and all of the workers were doing the double claps. So in the end she was pretty easy to spot. The hive has been busy since last week, lots of honey stores, a bit of brood and some royal jelly. They still have about 4 frames left to fill, so fingers crossed they will get busy before the end of the season.

The bees are so placid, they are very tolerant of us open their house and moving all their furniture around. We have decided to go for a no gloved approach ( opinions differ on this. Gloves= better protection, no gloves= better dexterity, which = better handling). So far no stings!!


First Bee hive inspection

 

We moved the bees with very little problem from James’ Apiary last weekend. Its best to┬ámove them early in the morning before they start flying. You just put a mesh on the top and a piece of foam in the entrance hole and then you can pop them in the back of your car. We carried them carefully across the plot. Loosened the mesh top and then put the proper rof on.

Tonight we have just done our first hive inspection. You use a little device called a smoker to produce a fine puff of smoke. The bees think the hive is on fire and go insie┬áto eat the honey, thus becoming sluggish. So with a puff of smoke we opened the hive, lifted off the crown board and started to inspect the frames. Part of what you are looking for in a bee hive inspection is the queen. We didn’t find the queen, but thought we would leave it until next time, as we woudl rather not have the hive open for ages in order to spot the queen. We did find a couple of queen cell which, following James advice, we removed. There was healthy looking brood, and honey stores, so hopefully all is well. Next inspection is in 7 days, so we will make more of an effort to find┬á the queen.

 

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Bee arrival

Well…James, our amazing bee man has been busy knitting us some bees for this season and rang us last week to say that they are ready. So I have been building an Apiary to house the hives. We have used entirely recycled parts for this, but I am really pleased with it. The high sides will ensure the bees fly up rather than across the veg garden. We will be picking them up in the back of our car very early in the morning on Saturday. I will report more then.