On inspecting the hives in my garden today, I found one of them had two soon to be sealed queen cells. This means the hive was very close to swarming, so remedial action was required. To prevent the bees from swarming, which they would do once the queen cells are capped, I carried out an … Continue reading Artificial Swarm
I set up a new out-apiary at Lytchett Minster today, I think I melted into my suit it was so warm. The bees were so placid it was amazing, despite having been closed up for almost a day, transported in a car and then moved from nucs into hives - they seem to have a … Continue reading New out-apiary
It's a rainy day here in Dorset today, so I set about taking care of a few jobs I'd been putting off. The first task was to change out the metal runners in my honey supers for 10 frame castellated spacers. This means I need one frame less per super, and the extra space between … Continue reading Castles on a rainy day
I went to my out apiary at Lytchett Matravers today to carry out the first stage of a vertical split, so that I could make two colonies from one hive. I opened the existing hive, found and isolated the queen, then selected 3 combs of brood, shook all the bees off and placed them in … Continue reading Making increase
I did a full inspection (first of the season) at home today. Putting the 1:1 feed and pollen patties on 10 days ago has paid off - the increase in brood is amazing. When I put the feed on, there was about half a frame of brood in the hives, today there are 7 frames … Continue reading It was worth it
When you travel to one of your out-apiaries expecting to be disappointed, and you find this - Plenty of brood in all stages, capped honey and stacks of very busy bees.
The winter of 2017/2018 seems to have seen larger than normal losses across the UK, with forum and social media reports of up to 80% losses for some beekeepers. Colonies fail for many reasons; Disease, queen failure, starvation, lack of forage and cold wet weather restricting foraging activities and forage availability, amongst others. Luckily, I did … Continue reading Recovering from winter losses
My weather station gives today's temperature as 14°, so I decided to take the first look in the back garden hives of the season - This is almost three weeks later than last year. The false widow spiders had taken up residence in the roof above the insulation, and were most peeved at being evicted. … Continue reading Quick look inside
Winter is a busy time for beekeepers, all spare kit has to be cleaned and disinfected ready for the new season, broken and damaged equipment needs repairing, and all the new kit for the coming year has to be made.