Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Moving house cont.

QB didn't spot QB but found eggs.  Had to take great care when brushing the bees off the super (nearly full of freshly capped honey). Didn't want to lose the QB.or trap her above the QX!!
These workers' pollen baskets are full of Alder (pale) and Salix (golden) pollen.
They're piling it into the new premises. As the brood comb is quite full of sealed honey
there is little room for the Q to lay. The bees need more space to move this honey into.   So I've put a super of new foundation above the QX and below the old super ( which is also quite full). Spring is the best time to get new comb drawn.
Next job - clean, scrub, scorch the old hive bits ready for the next colony to move into. Is a QB's work never done??

17C - moving bees to clean/disease-free hives

Yes, perfect day to begin the moves.  I start at one end of the apiary and, each day transfer the next colony on to the scorched, scrubbed hive of the one before.  Got it?
First  part of move.
Brood box on the left is now on the clean floor.
The old floor in the middle is now empty - ready for cleaning.
The super on the right will be brushed clear of bees and placed above a clean QX above the brood box. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

One fine day

14 th April - to be the finest day of Spring - and so it was!
14C!  The apiary and the garden were humming. A good time to check all 5 colonies have plenty of stores and are bringing in pollen.
So what else could QB do?  Why, hang out the washing.  Why not?
I forgot what happens to the whites. Little brown splodges appeared.
I won't do that again - this year anyway.
The other job I did -
Sorry, they don't look much do they - but they're very precious. Cerinthe seedlings, otherwise known as Honeywort ( as in Virgil's pastoral poems.) They are very nectarful(?) and are especially loved by pollinators, especially Bumblebees.

Off now to sow Borage - a honeybee favourite. Byezzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, 2 April 2018

Help Bees with Pollen

The winter bees are beginning to get weary.  In most colonies there's brood to feed, so, just when you're ready to retire after an exhausting time in/out/in/out of cluster, you're expected to go off foraging for pollen to feed the next generation.
As snow was expected today, yesterday QB found a sunny hour to give each colony - "Stone", "Silver", "Blue", "Red" and "Yellow H" a 500g pollen-nectar pattie. This should help them until the Salix catkins come into flower.
There isn't much else around - miniature daffodils are under snow again.
Good thing - there isn't any sign of dysentery - those nasty brown splashes
on the outside lifts.
QB is a "Honey jar" (glass) half full person.
As a friend wrote in a recent birthday card "Glass half full or glass half empty, it still needs topping up!".

Saturday, 31 March 2018

What to do on another cold wet snowy day? Make up frames of course.

Starting from scratch? These are the parts
for a Hoffman (self spacing) frame.
Beginners- this is what you need
These should have been finished by now! It's been too cold to go out into the workshop, and the wax foundation was too brittle. My excuse anyway. Now I am keeping it in the house. WBC supers take 10 standard shallow frames. I'm using wired worker premium foundation today.
After 1 hour job well done!!
A nice clean super ready.
Last year's cleaned frame can have fresh
foundation slotted in.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

April mags.

April editions of BeeCraft and BBKA News arrived today.
I mention them because they carry items of particular interest.
BeeCraft - "Why did my bees die" and "Shook swarm"
BBKA News - a very useful list of "Garden Plants Particularly Good for Honey Bees" and "Swarming - how can we mininize it and "Become IT Savvy". QBzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Hailstorm, sleet and hot sun - a typical pollen-gathering day!

What's a Queen Bee to do?
There's plenty of pollen coming in but then it suddenly goes cold.

 A happy half hour watching the comings and goings on chionodoxa and species tulips. Every pollen grain is carefully tucked away into the corbiculae on her hind legs. I'm off to the hives now
to check the candy/pollen patties. QB.