Monday, 1 June 2015

Annabels' first beekeeping task.

So as I said We went and collected Annabel s' bees on Friday night. A wonderfully calm colony of honey bees that has a very productive laying queen that had already covered all 5 frames with brood and so Annabel was thrown straight in at the deep end with having to re-hive her bees.

Over the last year Annabel has helped me several times with inspections and so has worked with live bees but I was there to give her a hand and any pointers if she needed them...not that she did. Annabel carried out the task of re-hiving the bees quickly and efficiently and with real confidence. As always during inspection she had a keen eye and spotted the queen very quickly who was marked white.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
So first thing was to move the
nuc from where we placed it
the previous night.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
Then we needed to assemble the full
size hive in it's place ready to
transfer the frames.
re-hiving a honey bee colony
Annabel decided which way to have
her hive entrance and frames and
then we placed everything on the
hive stand.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
It was a warm sunny day and the
bees were lively but calm.

audience whilst re-hiving a honey bee colony
We had a few visitors whilst we
got busy.
audience whilst re-hiving a honey bee colony
We made sure they kept a safe
distance though and told them
to simply calmly walk away
if the bees got too much for them.
As always it was the adults that
wanted to leave..not the kids!!

re-hiving a honey bee colony
Removing frames to make space
for those in the nuc.


re-hiving a honey bee colony
After a little difficulty removing
the tape from the hive we could
get on with the task at hand.
re-hiving a honey bee colony
I removed the first frame reminding
Annabel how to get the frames out
without damaging the poly nuc and
then took a step back.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
You can see what a strong
colony it is.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
Annabel checking the frames before placing
them in the hive, checking for brood, brood
pattern eggs, larvae and of course the queen.
re-hiving a honey bee colony
Placing the frames in the hive between
frames of un-drawn wax being careful
not to split the brood.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
Queen spotted and placed safely
in the hive.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
And then it's kind a little bit easier as
 you know your queen is safe so things
get a little bit quicker.
re-hiving a honey bee colony
Plenty of space for the colony to grow.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
Halfway there....

re-hiving a honey bee colony
and then just.....
re-hiving a honey bee colony
...one more. Notice the different
boots in this photo??

re-hiving a honey bee colony
That's because this very last frame
is being put in by Annabels Mum,
Juliette who was very keen to help.
Of course we let her...it was her 40th
Birthday after all!!

re-hiving a honey bee colony
So once all the frames were in it was just a
case of lining them up properly and then.....
re-hiving a honey bee colony
Giving the nuc a good hard shake
above the brood box to get most of
the bees out before putting the hive
back together again.

re-hiving a honey bee colony
Annabel proudly standing with her
beehive and honey bee colony!
The bees were beautifully natured, so much so that when we had walked to the other end of the allotments and Annabel s Mum realised she hadn't done her veil up properly the bee within it still hadn't stung her and made no attempt to whilst I carefully removed her veil, it simply flew off in the direction of the hive!!

You can see above that there are two supers on the hive. Only the bottom one is full of frames, the top box had a liquid feeder in it and Annabel will fill this with 1:1 syrup to give the bees a helping hand drawing out the new foundation.

Also the nuc was left there and the fondant under the hive just until the evening when all the bees had gone into the hive and then they were removed.

Annabel decided to go for a natural look with her hive and just give it a small floral motif that grows with the hive. I think it looks really effective and may enlist her to decorate my hives for me!!

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keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!