I inspected all my garden hives and nucs today, and merged some of the mating nucs to make larger colonies for over-wintering. I have to say, I am very happy with the queens I have produced this year, they have all come on really strong, have lovely brood patterns and are very calm. I got … Continue reading Looking good
After a bit of hive husbandry and swapping frames between a couple of hives and nucs, shaking in some nurse bees etc I have done what I think will be the last grafts for this year. 20 grafts gone into a starter colony, with a frame of soon to emerge brood and some nurse bees … Continue reading Planning ahead
I moved the nucleus colony with my new breeder queen into a full-sized hive today, it was too hot to wear a bee suit or jacket, so I wore just a hat and face veil. I'm pleased to say that even though my smoker was lit, and on standby, I did not have to use … Continue reading New Queen, New Palace
I had a phone call last week, from Marco Melo of Api-Bees in Kent, offering me a new breeder queen, with a colony of bees in a poly nuc. I was very happy to accept Marco's offer, and we arranged a time for me to collect the nuc from Marco's home in Kent. I tied … Continue reading New Breeder Queen
My latest batch of queens are emerging today - I must've got the timings spot on, as they are emerging within minutes of each other. Some nice lookers in this batch too. They'll all be going into nucs for overwintering.
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