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 01, 2009

First Inspection of the new beehives!

Well, after the bees had had a week to settle in, it was time for us to carry out our first inspection, to see how they are getting on, to try and locate the queens and to do a varroa mite treatment!

After finding the full beekeeping overall suits we first bought a bit cumbersome, we took a leaf out of Dave's book, and treated ourselves to a jacket type smock and some decent gloves each, as you can see, much easier to get on and off, so we'll keep the full bee suits for anyone who wants to have a look at the hives when we get them moved to our allotment, hopefully in the next 2 weeks! So, Saturday dawned bright and clear, and we'd arranged to meet up with Dave and Colin at 1pm to carry out the inspection, the 2 hives were fairly busy at the front when we arrived, plenty of bees buzzing around!
Dave and myself carried out the first inspection, on hive 2, then Lee and Colin carried out the inspection on Hive 1. A few puffs of smoke from the smoker calmed the girls down, and we gently dismantled the hive to leave it with the frames in the brood box open for us to take a look.

Dave showed us how to remove the frames and take a close look, checking for varroa mite, the general health of the bees, to see whether the queen was visible and on how well the bees have been doing. In hive 2 they were on 4 of the 12 frames, so plenty of room for the queen to lay eggs, and had drawn out the comb fully on those frames and partially on another 2 frames, not bad for a weeks work, they've obviously been busy! We did manage to spot the Queen, so are now sure that she is in there, now all we need to do is wait until she is laying to check that she has been properly mated, and as soon as we are sure of that, then they can be moved to the apiary we've built on our allotment!

If you look closely, you can see the comb that they've been making, and in some spots they have even begun storing pollen and nectar to produce honey! We probably wont get much of a harvest of honey this year, as its more important that the girls have enough to see them through the winter, but after the varroa treatment we administered they should be fairly happy and mite free for a while now!
Lee and Colin did the inspection on Hive 1, which also had bees on 4 frames and comb on 5 frames, but we didnt spot the queen in that hive, so we'll have to have a better look next Sunday when we carry out our next inspection!
Hope you are finding our journey into the world of apiarism interesting!

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