On Saturdays we have beginners sessions at the Vale and Downland Beekeepers’ Association Teaching Apiary. A few folks have chosen to keep their hives here for their first season, in a separate area set aside for the beginners. We start by going through their hives (mostly nucs delivered at the same time as mine) with experienced beekeepers showing us what to look out for. All the new bees are very good tempered, like mine.
We then usually head over to the main teaching apiary where many of the bees are of a completely different temperament – some of them pretty nasty, especially this week which may have been down to the weather which was cold, windy and generally beginning to feel stormy.
One hive had a swarm hanging off the bottom (I think the queen was clipped so they didn’t get far). I took some photos although I’m not entirely sure what was going on as I got there at the tail end of the operation. I think they shook the swarm into a new brood box and then put this on top of the original hive. Anyway, here’s a photo:
Back home, after a week of shocking weather – cold and very wet I inspected my bees to find not much progress, unsurprisingly. Only a few frames in the super had been drawn out – if the weather carries on like this I don’t think I’ll get much of a honey crop this year. I did see the queen though, who seems to be laying well still. I did find one queen cup which had an egg in it though which I destroyed.
I was pleased to notice that the bees have found my water feature – which I installed to try to keep them from drinking at my neighbour’s pond. My lovely, long suffering neighbours took the news of my bees very well. What with the bonfire night fence fire fiasco and my husband recently reducing the front hedge between our houses to what only can be described as a “stumpery”, not to mention the general chaos/noise of living next door to a busy household with four boys I did expect them to be concerned but they seemed quite happy and interested in the bees.