Saturday, 17 June 2017

Why we should all grow dandelions!!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Having a drink.

I love to watch the bees getting there much needed water supply so I provided them with a pond in my apiary.

It's nothing fancy...just a sunken bath tub but it does the job beautifully and bring some extra wildlife to the plot too.

I made sure to have plenty of greenery in it too so that the bees wouldn't drown though sometimes there is the odd casualty.

I turned the 'pond' into a fun focal point which is a lovely
place to sit and watch the hives. 

The bees visit in large numbers to get the water
they need to process the honey.

Friday, 9 June 2017

The 'Top Bar' hive

So one of our members has a top bar hive and a while ago now I was given a swarm and we put this into Ela's top bar hive.

Ela was so pleased to finally have some bees and they seemed to settle well and three days later after they had built out some 'comb' Ela gave them some syrup and all was looking good...and then...well nothing...the bees just absconded.

Ela was gutted but knew this was how things could go so then orederd a queen excluder should she need it for the future. However before that could even arrive i got a call from aonther member of the district saying her bees had swarmed and landed in  a tree in her garden and did I know of anyone that would want them. I immediately thought of Ela again so they were boxed with no foundation and Ela and I went out to collect them.

It was quite a wet and miserable day when we fetched them but the rain cleared long enough for us to get them inside the hive and then it was just wait and let nature take it's course. Hopefully these bees would like the accommodation more and stay to make their home.

Three days after we had put them into the hive I went and had a quick look, I felt so disheartened...there were only a few bees milling about sign of the vast number we had put in just a few days previous...I let Ela know and we said we would just wait and see....2 days later....not much and very few bees....but then a week later the hive was humming happily and comb was being built!!

Here's a peek through the observation window.

I guess we will never have any way of knowing if these are the bees we put in or if they are another swarm that flew over and liked the accommodation. Ela is just happy that there are happy, calm and content bees making use of the space she has provided for them.

The Top Bar Hive.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Open Apiary 20th May 2017

So the 20/05/17 saw our first district open apiary of the year. There had been one previously scheduled but as is so often the case the weather wasn't playing nice and we had to cancel.

The week running up to the day wasn't good at all but we were very lucky on the Saturday morning and the wind dropped and the sun shone brightly warming the air for us.

It was well attended and Annabel was photographer for us!!

Quite a few of the 2017 course attendees attended along with a few newer beekeepers and some who had yet to get their own bees or had only recently got them so we were quite a mixed bunch but I think they all found it valuable seeing inside someone else's hives, how the apiary was set up and also because I work with 'poly deep nationals' it was the chance to see a different material in action.

We were lucky enough to post a marked and unmarked queen and also to open a hive with some queen cells who became a little 'narky' to say the least which raised many questions and speculations which were answered and talked through.

I hope everyone enjoyed there day and took some extra knowledge away with them.