I went to check on two of my out apiaries today, upon arrival at the first site, I went to light my smoker......... Ah! I had forgotten to bring any smoker fuel - oops! Good job my bees are docile, so I carried out my inspections without smoke. One of the hives, which I found … Continue reading No smoke without fuel
A mixed day today, with more dead queens found and some missing in action. Over the last few weeks I've lost ten queens, some of last years overwintered queens, and some of this years new queens - this tends to get me down. I now have several hives queen less, which will hit my honey … Continue reading The good, the bad and the ugly
Not what you want to find while carrying out hive inspections - a dead queen, and one of this years too! Luckily I raise my own queens, so am able to replace her easily enough, but it is always sad to find a dead queen. I spent the morning marking new virgin queens, and then … Continue reading The Queen is dead!
We had a really hot and humid day today, my weather station said 35°, the car said 29° and the weather report on the radio said 26° - so take your pick. I was super glad to have my vented bee jacket, I still got very sweaty, but I could carry on working - I'm … Continue reading First grafts of 2018
I had a very busy day today, expanding my home apiary, making splits and introducing new queens. I also had a friend drop round with three virgin queens for me to put into my queen bank as the next three or four days are forecast for rain and thunder storms. I built a new stand … Continue reading Expanding
As part of the normal beekeeping year, beekeepers accumulate wax from replacing old brood frames and from wax cappings at extraction time. Brood Frames Each year it is recommended that a beekeeper replaces a third of the frames in the brood box. It is important that the frames are replaced for several reasons. Old frames … Continue reading Rendering Beeswax
Today, I went over to one of my apiaries at Lytchett Minster and made a walk away split from one of the very strong hives there, in order to prevent it from swarming. I was able to take away 4 brood frames and a frame of stores, still leaving the original hive in a strong … Continue reading Walk away split
Here is a nice little video of one of my queens laying - you can see her putting her head in the cell, to check that it is clean and polished ready for her to lay in, and also to measure the cell so that she knows whether to lay a fertilised or unfertilised egg. … Continue reading Queen Laying
The University of Guelph Honey Bee Research Centre has some excellent beekeeping videos on their Youtube Channel including this one on simple swarm control/prevention. Their channel is well worth subscribing to.
I went over to my Lytchett Matravers Apiary this morning to split a double brood National hive to make two hives. This is quite straightforwards; Put a new stand and floor to one side, over a metre away from the existing hive remove the roof and crown board from the existing hive, place the roof … Continue reading Splits and Queens