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Sunday, 16 August 2009

New Apiary - No. 4

My friend C has agreed to have some hives on his land. He has created a small oasis - lawns, apple trees, fire pit - at the back of his field.

I bagged a swarm last week, thanks to D, the local pest control operator. It's very late in the year for a swarm to succeed - but it was a big one. It was hanging in an apple tree about 2.5m off the ground. But a pair of steps and a hefty whack deposited it into the skep. First use of the skep, and I'm impressed.
The photo below is the "commercial" hive that I have chosen for this site. It was available - I had bought four complete hives from a friend of an acquaintance a while ago. But I had started off with WBC hives, thanks to my mentors D & M. Commercials and WBCs are different size boxes and frames.

It's not as pretty as a WBC hive, that's for sure. But I can't let them go to waste.

I have put an empty brood box on top of the main brood box to accommodate a feeder.

The palettes make a good level base, don't they?

The feeder is in the next photo. You can see the bees coming up from the brood box through a hole in the top cover, into the feeder, and then over the top until they reach the syrup. They consumed four pints in just a few days - and I gave them some more today. Dunno why the syrup is a bit yellow. It was Fairtrade cane sugar. Maybe I overheated it when I made it.

They seem quite defensive. There is a line of bees across the entrance and any wasp that comes close gets immediate attention - unlike the established hives that are more laissez-faire.

And yes, I have registered it on beebase.

Photos are not as good as usual because: a) I took them, not son T or son J; and b) they were taken on my iphone.

Tune in again in a few days' time. Honey harvest is pending!


  1. Stephen, I recently stumbled across you blog via links from the BBKA forums. Your blog is really excellent. I particularly like your frank style and liberal use of illustrative photos. I am also a novice beekeeper with a blog ("Kenzie Bee Blog"). Mine's not as concise nor clear as yours - which promts me for a slight change in style! Please keep blogging and I'll keep reading.


I'm sorry but I now have to moderate comments after spam has been posted as comment. It's a nuisance.