Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Beekeeping News!

Well, a busy day off on Saturday, we agreed to inspect the hives at 12 lunchtime, meeting up (Pat, Colin and I) with Dave to check whether we had capped worker brood present (indicative of the queen having been properly mated and being fertile)!
In fact, on opening Hive 2 we found plenty of capped worker brood, so this hive is now ready to be moved to our apiary on plot 2 at our allotment site, which we are planning on doing tomorrow night!

The girls in Hive 2 have been busy, the comb is now drawn out on 7 frames, and the queen has been busy laying, so as these bees start to come out of pupae in about another 2 weeks, then the size of the colony is going to expand greatly! We saw the queen again in this hive, so hopefully she will now be able to get the hive up to strength and ready to survive the winter, they've got a few months yet to expand the colony and get some honey stores put away for the winter, but we will be keeping a close eye on them to ensure that they dont starve if stores run low!

Hive 1 has comb on 5 frames now, and a few capped brood, but we'll wait till later this week to do an inspection and see whether there are more capped brood, if there is, then we will be moving it in the next few weeks!
After we had done the inspections on our 2 hives (and completed a sugar treatment to help remove any varroa mite that had found their way into the colony) we were fortunate to be given a bit more experience by Dave, who allowed us to do the inspections on his fully up and running hives in the apiary! 1 hive he had been worried about (not having seen the queen yet this year) was concerning, as there didnt appear to be a queen present, nor any brood or eggs, but as we were doing the inspection a queen landed and made her way back into the hive, returning from a mating flight! 2 minutes later and in comes another queen to the same hive from her mating flight!! It seems that the workers had hatched 2 of the queen cells that Dave had inserted to the hive, and it now only needs us to wait and see whether one queen takes over and kills the other, or whether the hive swarms and both queens then become viable!
A very interesting and enjoyable afternoon, followed by an impromptu picnic, which was then followed by an impromptu BBQ back at our home! Seems like a great night, enjoyed by us all!
So, more news on the hive move later this week, hopefully with some piccies of the hive in our apiary!!!


HappyMouffetard said...

Really interesting posts - would love to keep bees but don't feel I have the time at the moment, so it's good to read about it in the mean time.

Suzanne (Mrs D) said...

Hi HM, glad you are enjoying the Beekeeping posts! They are absolutely fascinating little critters, totally different from what you would expect!

In terms of time, generally its a couple of hours a week maximum, usually just an inspection each week from March to November per hive, which will take anything from 15 mins to an hour, then a bit more time to extract the honey when you have a super full ready to harvest, so time isnt actually that much of a problem, especially if you have them on your veg plot!