I noticed over the last few days that the last over-wintered poly nuc left has had bees bearding outside, this means they are having problems with the hive temperature getting too high, probably due to overcrowding. Overcrowding is one of the main reasons why bees swarm, so I knew that I had to move them … Continue reading New hive
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
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
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
Making hive frames is a mind numbing exercise - I gave up with the Lidl nail gun, got fed up with clearing jams and removing bent nails, so it's the Mk1 pin hammer and 19mm brads - only eleven per frame times 140 frames....