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Friday, 23 July 2010

Two queens installed into queenless hives

I bought two queens from Easybee.

They were in these bee cages, below.
I was confident about one of the hives. It had been queenless for some time (but see next post). So I knew it would accept a new queen.

The other hive I was worried about. Through pressure of time, I was not able to leave a day between killing the old queen (who was not laying) and introducing the new queen.

The result? Both queens laying very happily.

Thanks, Easybee.

Thieving robbing little bastards

One of my hives has been overrun by wasps. It was one that I had recently added a new queen to, and she had started to lay.
But too late. There were not enough bees to defend the hive and the queen has now disappeared, presumed dead.

I have moved the frames with brood and a couple of frames of brood from another hive into a nuc box, together with the remaining bees. The nuc box has two small entrance holes, so is much easier to defend.

Maybe they can make a new queen from eggs on the frames.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

New Poly Nucleus box

Just bought a nucleus box from the excellent Modern Beekeeping in Devon for £29.

Admire the paint job! I like it. I wonder if the bees will. I bought a couple of sampler pots of "Shades" by Cuprinol, that were intended for the wooden bench that you see beneath the box. But looks good on the box, innit?

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a central divider that enables one to keep two colonies in the same box. But a judicious hack at a sheet of Correx, the materiel du jour, fixed the problem.

See below with three brood frames in one side.

The final part of the job was to fashion a blocking panel for the entrance that will not be used if either the full six frames are being used as a colony or only one side is being used. See also the open mesh floor (essential for travelling any distance with bees on board).

I'm impressed with these hives. I have a colony in the full size polyhive and its doing well.