Whenever a new queen is introduced to an existing colony, there is always a chance your worker bees will not accept her, and the result of this could be the death of your new queen - no matter which method of introduction you use. The main things you need to be sure of when introducing … Continue reading Introducing Queens
As well as checking all my out apiaries today, I did the first grafts since my incubator packed up and killed all my queen cells. I brought a frame of young brood home, wrapped in a damp tea towel to keep it from drying out, and chose day old larvae to graft into cell cups. … Continue reading More Grafting
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