A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Apiary inspection 09/10/2011

Yesterday I managed to get to do my overdue hive inspection. I was due to go up last Thursday but, as mentioned in my previous post, the weather was unfit for opening the hive. I was concerned that I'd left the varroa treatment in for too long as it says remove after 4 weeks. It was only in a couple of extra days so I wasn't too worried. I also had a friend come up with me to see the Bees as he was round my house at the time the weather cleared up enough for the inspection.

Upon arrival at my dad's allotment me and my friend, Tris, suited up. I let him use my suit as it's slightly larger and I squeezed into my partners suit. As it was going to be a quick inspection I decided we would try to do the inspection without smoke. The weather wasn't the most ideal for the inspection as it was overcast and had been raining that day and due to this there was very little traffic coming and going from the hive when we got to the apiary. Upon opening the top of the hive there was a fair few Bees that got air born to see what we were doing but they didn't cause too much problem.

I showed my friend a couple of frames from the super that had stored honey in them, some with capped cells and others that were uncapped. He seemed amazed at how many Bees there were so I moved onto the brood chamber to show him how many were in there. When we removed the super to expose the brood chamber a lot more Bees started flying round us, but I was really impressed with my friend as he kept calm and I carried on showing him the brood area. We managed to get a good look at about 4 frames before the Bees got really angry and were trying to sting my face through my suit; at this stage we stepped out of the apiary for a couple of minutes to allow them to calm down a bit. Once they were a little calmer we went back in and I removed the APILIFE VAR bars that were in, thus completing the varroa treatment. I then reassembled the hive, adding a extra super to allow me room to add a bucket of sugar syrup for the Bees. They did have quite a bit of stores but I would rather feed them a bit extra than let them starve.

During the inspection I had thought I'd heard a rip from time to time in a certain area of the suit and when we returned to my car and removed the suit I found a hole in the crotch area; I'm so glad none of the Bees managed to find it! My friend who came with me really enjoyed the visit and as he has a huge garden I am now trying to convince him to also get some Bees or at least let me keep Bees on his property! I should also mention that he recently opened up his own barber shop in the area and I recommend you to visit the Facebook page for his shop.

My friend Tris ready for Bees!