So, my first inspection after returning from holiday (14 days) and a Fathers Day inspection. I thought it could have been interesting considering the day before we went on holiday I had to perform an artificial swarm on one of the hives. So let me tell you what I found and I will be interested to hear what you would have done in my situation – partly so I can consider it and then do it myself!
The scene that presented itself as in the photo – a swarm was situated on the Omlet but bees flying out of the beehives I had performed the artificial swarm on.
Let me now describe what I saw when I was in the hives.
1. Hive One (furthest away) – There were about 5 frames of bees, multiple queen cells – some open, some closed.
2. Hive Two (nearest) – Again, about 5 frames of bees but more than Hive One. multiple queen cells – some open, some closed.
I rehoused the swarm – I hope successfully – but what would you now do with the other two hives?
Today was one of those picture perfect Autumnal days that are just a joy to be outside. Therefore it was the perfect day to try and move some bees – though late in the year, this was not just any old bee swarm but an established nest with combs to boot. It is not often that I will call in help and I tend to try to muddle on myself and making my own mistakes – which of course helps me learn. Bee swarm removal that has been in situ for 10-12 weeks however needs careful planning and thought. Read the rest of this entry »
Such is the way with my busy life at the moment I am writing this at 6am as the sun is rising around me and the air is quiet. It is beautiful outside and I can just about see signs of life ticking over trying to wake up. Lovely to witness and I am reminded why I like getting up early every so often.
Anyway, yesterday I was called out to collect a swarm that had arrived 10ft up in a cherry tree…….in August?!? What is this year all about I ask myself. The old beekeeping poem doesn’t even mention August as you can see below!
I hope this small video helps you in working out how to perform an artificial swarm. Audrey at my local beekeeping association demonstrated it to me and it all made sense with this marvellous model which she very kindly let me borrow. See what you think.
I will admit to being slightly sceptical at the advice.
Just wait another week, queens often come off lay at this time of the year. You wait and see, she will be there somewhere
There I was, not really having sleepless nights, but I will admit to being slightly concerned, about the fact I simply couldn’t find my queen in either hive. Not just that but I also couldn’t see any eggs or larvae. See my post about a beehive with no queen. But it was more than that with the Omlet hive (where I have now spotted the queen); it is a completely different queen than the one I had before – and the haven’t swarmed. Could it have been a supercedure at this time of year? (for other newbies, in the latter part of the year hives can replace queens they are not entirely happy with by supercedure and not swarm)
There I was, filming the last days filming with the film crew, in search of a queen and she suddenly appeared in the Omlet. Not only that but she didn’t have a blue spot on her back.
I have offered two possible answers and so I am interested in which one you think it may be – and please offer any other alternatives that I have no doubt not thought of.
So my suspicions were confirmed, my bees did in fact swarm and I predict it happened roughly on Saturday. I went in finally on Monday and there were two sealed queen cells and no obvious sign of a queen (though some one/two day old eggs were definately there). Damn, that means that had I gone in on Friday I could have saved the situation!
[google1] In all the reading and researching I have been doing April Beekeeping is all about swarm control. This is the case because the bee colonies will be starting to increase in size as the weather warms up and therefore space could become limited; and pretty quickly.
The interesting element for my beekeeping is that I run two completely different hives (An Omlet Beehaus and a 14*12 National Hive) and therefore they have completely different ways of dealing with swarm control.
The one thing I have realised is that should the (almost) inevitable occur and I see that the bees are looking to expand I am seriously underprepared on not just the equipment department but also mental capacity to deal with all that I need to remember! Read the rest of this entry »
I think I experienced what is called the Beekeeping panic today. It was the hottest day of the year so far in the UK and as a result I knew that my bees would be loving it (especially as all the fruit tree blossom would be coming out any second). The problem was that I had just put a super on one of the hives (thank god I had that ready to go) but the other was not ready in the slightest. To top it all off I hadn’t removed the hive entrance blocks.
Standing outside the hive this morning (which I only did as a fluke as I wasn’t even going out to the hives today) was like watching the busiest of motorways on the worst rush hour ever. To top it all off there would be a multi-car pile up right in the middle of it. I decided there and then that I had to do something. Read the rest of this entry »