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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Colony status at 29 June

Now have got eight colonies on the go - shared with friend E.

1 x topbar
- looking good - new swarm in June.

1 x commercial from swarm last year
- swarmed while I was away in India - but were very confusing
- has unhinged queen cell but no eggs, so suspect a virgin queen awaiting mating.

1 x commercial from swarm while I was away
- they just moved into an broodbox full of empty frames
- awaiting a move to out apiary because they are right outside my back door
- blighters stung me just because I was sawing close by

1 x WBC in garden, last year's queen
- 10 frames of brood
- looks set to do well this year

2 x WBC at out apiary
- one has new queen
- patchy brood
- not sure if the queen is a good 'un
- one was queenless until E put a queen cell in from beesoc (came from a very gentle hive, so I hope it works)

1 x polyhive
- new queen in last month
- doing well

1 x national
- swarm taken on a duvet cover (see previous post)
- now in local town awaiting return to Pickwick Towers.

But a lot of money spent on kit to get this far and not a lot of return.

Top bar hive going well

My two teenage sons, T and J, captured a swarm for the first time (with advice on the 'phone from me in India) and E put it in the topbar, which has now been moved to a more secluded spot in the grounds of the local manor house (photo above).

The comb is lovely - as you might expect because it's brand new (photo above).

Only in one case have the bees not followed the waxed groove in the underside of the bar. They have produced a convoluted shape that spans two bars (photo below).

The V-shape of the hive is supposed to prevent them from bridging the comb to the side of the hive, but on most bars there is a small amount to bridging comb (photo below).

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Apologies for the break in transmission

I am working in India for three weeks.

Back with the bees and back online in about a week.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Major trauma / excitement

I am off to India on business for a few weeks, so I needed to hand over my hives to friend E to look after while I am away.

We inspected the hive at D's and found it to be queenless and full of ferocious bees (because of their queenlessness).

I drove there in my open top car and had to drive away after the inspection in full protective gear. Stopping a few hundred yards away to take off our headgear. We didn't want to frighten the natives.

Returning later that day, we did an "artificial swarm" because there was one swarm cell and numerous supersession cells. We put the swarm cell and one supersession cell into the new hive (along with nurse bees), and left the rest in the original hive (with their own supersession cells).

Heaven knows what will be the outcome. I will know when I return. I think we should leave them alone for a few weeks to sort themselves out.