Sunday, 26 June 2016

Introducing Frank...the new'bee'.

Not so long ago Grantham District were contacted by a gentleman asking about beginners courses. For his birthday he had been gifted a hive and all the gubbings to go with it and wanted to start his new venture by taking a course. Our courses run in spring but he was told all about the District and the open apiaries and meetings we hold and was really enthusiastic about taking part and becoming an associate member and then getting some bees next season. As most beekeepers know...things never go quite according to plan.

Now Frank was new to the area but became interested in bees when he had a swarm land in his garden last year and had met a local swarm collector who came to retrieve it for them.

Frank spoke to neighbours about keeping bees and one had a perfect place for him to have a hive and even a daughter who was also interested in keeping bees so it seemed everything would be set for next year, Frank would become an associate member, learn some things over the summer through open apiaries and meetings, attend the course, get some bees.

Then his neighbour had a swarm land in one of his trees and they asked Frank if he could do something about it. Well Frank already had the kit, and a hive, had seen it done once before so figured he would give it a go. Here is Frank's very first task as a beekeeper...catching a swarm!!

So Frank's days of a beekeeper began. He immediately joined our District as a full member and I have been giving him a hand and some advice when he's asked for it. Less than a month into his life as a beekeeper Frank has successfully caught and hived a cast swarm with a virgin queen. Had the queen go out on her maiden flight which proved to be successful and she is now laying across four frames in a lovely pattern with both worker and drone brood present. The bees are quite a calm swarm.

The queen has been seen, caught and marked white for the year of 2016. So far this is a text book case, it's so nice when things go exactly as the book should say. Below are a few pictures of Franks hive taken last weekend.

Bees in the feeder, Frank had only given them
fondant and I told him to give them some syrup
to help draw out the remaining frames.

Bees over five frames in the hive, they have
 drawn these from new foundation.

Comb with eggs and larvae in
different stages.

A close up of the bees.

Comb with eggs.

The first capped brood with larvae surrounding,
a wonderful example of a text book brood

The bees and their stores.
Inevitably things can and probably will go wrong but for now it is all looking great and Frank is keen to learn as much as possible. It's great to have him as a new member to the district and I hope that the rest of the year goes as well as the start.


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