I’ve had a couple of busy days again, nipping round all my apiaries to put clearer boards on hives so that I could remove some honey supers. I took supers off from two sites today, and put the clearer boards on at a third.
I will be taking the supers off from the third site tomorrow.
I have run out of supers now, as the bees are filling them so fast. I will extract the honey from the ones I have removed early next week, so That I can put them back on the hives for the bees to fill again (hopefully). They all still have at least one super on at the moment.
I’ve had to swap a few frames of foundation out of some of the brood boxes as the were honey bound, in other words, the bees have filled the brood frames with honey leaving the queen nowhere to lay. I put in some drawn comb and some fresh foundation. This will give the queen somewhere to lay. I will keep the frames of honey that I removed to feed back to the bees in the winter – nothing goes to waste in beekeeping!
I have to sort out a troublesome hive in my garden tomorrow. For the past 3 years, this have has absolutely refused to accept any queen I have given them, and keeps raising their own.
This hive is very productive, but the trouble is that this hive is aggressive. the bees run around the comb, fly in your face, and has overly protective guard bees that want the whole garden to themselves. My wife has been stung by them a few times (I haven’t, but isn’t that always the way!) and she has had enough – so this hive has to be sorted.
There is also a lot of drone brood in this hive, so I will rake them out and put the larvae on the bird tables for the birds to eat. Why will I do this? I don’t want these drones with aggressive genes mating with my virgin queens and making the problem even worse.
What are my options? Well, I could put a saucer of petrol in the roof, which will kill all the bees in seconds. I could shake them out and let them beg their way into another hive. I could merge them with another strong colony, or I could merge them with a 6 frame nuc. what will I do? – I haven’t decided yet….
The problem with merging though, is that these aggressive bees could kill the queen from the colony that I merge them with.
Lots of work to do still; nice and relaxing, this beekeeping lark.