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.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

New Bees

As mentioned in my last post I am quite excited (understatement) to announce the arrival of my new Bees. After the devastation of finding my hives had died earlier on in the year it is such a relief to be back in business. I consider myself very lucky to have made some good friends in the association and through one of them have been sold a new colony. Unlike the first Bees I bought, the one I just bought is a colony at full strength basically meaning that rather than the 5 frames of Bees you can get in a standard nucleus colony, I got a brood box full of frames of Bees, stores and eggs. To make it even better there is a half box of brood as well which is just brood in a super. This extra space allows for a larger amount of brood and less congestion.

When we took the hive down to the apiary site the colony was still housed in equipment lent to me by the guy who sold me the hive. I have since been down and done an inspection and transferred it all into my own equipment. I also took some frames out of the colony and placed them in a nucleus box to make a new colony. In this box I have placed a full frame of worker brood that is ready to hatch and a frame of eggs so they can raise a new Queen. I also put 2 frames of food and a frame of foundation for them to draw out themselves.

Me and Bees

 I have since spoken to another Beekeeper and he has given me some guidance on how to raise a better quality Queen than the method I'm using but he says not all is lost. He recommends I knock down any Queen cells that are created until all the brood has hatched an then put another frame with only a few eggs on. This will force them to only make a few cells and then I will destroy them all apart from 1. With all the brood hatched there will be more workers to feed the new Queen cell and as there will be only a single cell to feed she will develop into a better Queen.... in theory. I will let you know how that goes on.

In the video you can see there are quite a few Bees to say the least and to the right of the main hive you can see the nucleus hive as well. In one of my next inspections I will be doing the method explained to me by the other Beekeeper to raise better Queens. It involves having a second brood area above the supers and raising a second Queen in the top but I'll go into more detail when that is done.

Happy Beekeeper. In the bottom left of pic you can see where my good wife fixed a hole in my suit!