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.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Apiary Inspection - 14/08/2012

The weather was nice, Steph was at work, I wasn't and Lauren was at the child minders so the time was right to do my inspection. I went up to the allotment and had a walk over to the apiary where there were loads of Bees coming and going from 2 of my hives, and absolutely none coming from the other. The one that didn't have activity has been getting worse each time I've visited so I wasn't surprised to see no activity. The borage that is growing next to the apiay is doing extremely well, almost to the point where it is overtaking any weeds in the area! Below is the first video I took of my Bees foraging on borage.



Once I'd finished with my borage video I got suited up and entered the apiary and started working on my first hive; the hive with no Bees coming out of it. Once opened I was gutted, but not surprised, to find there were no Bees at all in the hive and all the stores were empty. Some of the comb had been damaged which probably means wasps have been and robbed the hive. There still were a few wasps  flying about trying to get a sugary treat. I moved as much of the hive out of the apiary with the wasps following me and placed it a short distance away to be delt with later.

The next hive was a lot better but still not perfect. There were plenty of Bees and brood, and I saw the Queen (Bee-atrix) but there is still an awful lot of comb that they just haven't drawn out yet. I believe this to be down to the bad weather we've had all year; it takes a lot of carbohydrates or sugars to make wax. I decided that I will heavily feed them from now to give them a better chance of building up before winter.

The last hive was very very similar to the last, the only differance was that there was slightly more stores and it was Queen Bee-linda who was on show. Again I will give them a good amount of feed before winter and again hope they survive. I didn't know what to do with the first hive I removed from the apiary that had all the drawn out comb in it. I finally decided to make my surviving hives bigger; now I have one hive with a double brood chamber and the other has 2 supers. This may have been the wrong thing to do but if I feed them lots from now hopefully they will fill out and occupy the new space. When everything was closed up I took another video of the borage forage which is below.