Finding The Queen Generally this poses a problem for beginners, as indeed for some of the more seasoned beekeepers, who are not accustomed to examining their colonies on a regular basis. Perhaps the ability to spot the queen may be described as a gift, which comes with experience in the routine handling of bees. The best … Continue reading Queen Marking
Royal Mail have just delivered my new incubator, I've removed the egg turning mechanism (like most beekeepers incubators, they are actually for chickens eggs) and it looks like I could get 100 queen cells/cages in there, easily. Now to plug it in and test it......
I checked my hives at Lytchett Matravers today, and all is well. As with my other sites, and due to the "June gap" the bees have been using the honey as there is insufficient forage for them at the moment. One hive, into which I placed a virgin Queen on the 8th June, has come … Continue reading Good News at Last
After the failure of my incubator, I managed to save two queens still in their cells. They should have emerged Wednesday, but the lower temperature slowed them down. I saw one trying to get out of her cell, so decided to help her by removing bits of wax with my tweezers. Unfortunately, due to being … Continue reading One saved, one dead
I checked my incubator last night, like I always do before I go to bed, and was horrified to see that the temperature was only 24°C when it should be 35°C. I checked to see if the temp setting had been inadvertently changed, but it hadn't. I opened the door, and found the fan constantly … Continue reading Incubator disaster!
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
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