Wednesday, 23 August 2017


I took off 4 boxes on the 16th aug 2017, the dewpoint was 16.5. I tried a small dehumidifier to reduce the water content but was not impressed, so every day or so I blew warm conservatory air through the boxes. After a week I got the dewpoint down to 14.5. It went down to 11 on a lot of occasions ( left with the top sealed over night). There were four supers with frames in and I got 84lbs of honey which had a moisture level of 18%. Nicki used Mike's manual extractor, which worked a lot better than i thought.

Friday, 18 September 2015

winter prep

Weighed the hives yesterday from 1 to 5
16 kg
fed the 4 light ones today

Saturday, 13 September 2014

summer end

I've removed and jarred 116lb of honey then added the apigaurd. Number 3 has a very high incidence of varroa. I need to give them all some feed as none are very heavy.
Number 4 has been very slow to build but it had a bad season start. |I removed some frames for starting queens, it then swarmed, then lost it's queen.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

they don't behave

My first colony was split 8 days ago when I found queen cells. The queen and flying bees below. Check today and the queen has gone and left several QC.
My second has a new queen laying in the bottom, I could not find. I took the qc's from the top box and made 4 small nucs. All failed.
The third was a bit lively but I added another super.
The forth had my best queen in, but she has now left making a small colony smaller. This is the colony I've been taking frames of eggs from for queen rearing. The queen has also absconded before the qc's were sealed! I've split this into 2 colonies on the same site with QC's in both
The fifth has a good queen in the bottom and I saw a queen hatch in the top so I took down all the other qc's.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Things move quick

Wednesday night found all qc destroyed,  had missed 2 other qc which had emerged.  Shook all bees into box and placed comb under excluder, added fresh eggs to bottom box. Now switched boxes and added splitter board.. tonight seen new qc being built.  2 other colonies have qc so made splits with each.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Starting Queens

Check my new QC last night, will try to split into 6 nucs next wed/thur.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

First Shook Swarm

Colony 5 had drawn a lot of the foundation out, so I removed all the old brood and gave it to colony 4 in preparation for queen rearing.  Colony 5 now has a queen excluder underneath the brood box which I will remove after our break in Majorca. It has a couple of frames of old stores and I have given a little syrup. Tomorrow I will treat with "Hive Clean" and then add a super when we return from our hols.
Hive 3  seems a little slow to build up, that was the colony I shook swarmed in July and then overwintered in  a poly hive!
In 10 days I'll remove the brood from colony 1, moving it too colony 4, as above.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

2 queens

Quick check to see if they are building on the new foundation when colony on position 4 had a surprise. It superseded last September and still has both queens, nick suggested getting a photo, will try !

Monday, 31 March 2014

New Foundation

I left all brood and one stores frame each side in the bottom box, while adding frames of stores from below and frames with fresh foundation into the top box. Given a feed of light syrup, 1 to 1.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

end of March

First full inspection today, all look good. The colony in the poly hive only occupies half the box, there were lots of slugs in the other half. Two colonies have a little sealed drone cells, this seems far too early.

Monday, 17 March 2014

spring 2014

Bees have had several flights this year so far. On the monitoring boards there is a pattern on each of the 4, an area of dark wax droppings and an area of light wax droppings. The dark is the brood area and the light is the stores area. I checked tonight that they all have some stores and could tell from the wax bits around areas of empty cells that they are using stores at the moment and not storing nectar. This tells me to be careful they don't starve. In a couple of weeks I need to consider shook swarming 3 of the hives.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

End of year

It was a late start for the bees this year, April was freezing. Then Jul and August were lovely.
My strongest nuc from the year before never got going, so after the bee inspector had checked for AFB in July I disposed of it. Thought I would wait until the bees swarmed to get me back up to 5 colonies, of course they never did!
Came back from our great hols with Gill & Tim at the end of August and one colony had sealed QC's. I destroyed them without thinking, so a week later there were more. Quick check today in colony 4, saw the new queen and sealed worker cells. For the previous 3 weeks it has had the old marked queen and the new queen as well as sealed drone cells, so I guess the old one was failing. I did not see the old queen today but I did not go through the whole hive. There was still drones in the colony, very late!
I've taken 60lb of honey this year mostly from one hive, the 5th position.
All 4 colonies have been fed and seem to have plenty of stores.
Colony 3 was treaded to a shook swarm after the inspectors (to help clear out chalk and bald brood) visit and is now going into winter in a poly hive. I need to shook swarm the other 3 colonies early next year and raise a fifth.

Friday, 19 April 2013


Lifted crown boards today, suprised how small the first 3 colonies were, put some weak syrup on.

Friday, 12 April 2013

First check

What a cold spring, March seemed never to go above zero, Only lifted the crown boards off today, 4 and 5 were very strong. Number 2 was dead, so now I'll keep the nuc from last year I was going to sell. Need to start syrup feeding and frame replacement soon!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

End of August, 2012

Very poor year, cold and wet, LOngsdon Apiary has produced no Honey, I have taken 55lb. All colonies will get some syrup when they have finished drying the supers. Sold 4 nucs this year, Pete S, Stephan K, Steve F, Alyson F.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


I gave all five a little weak syrup to stimulate.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

April 2012

The weather has turned wet for the last fortnight, checked their stores on Monday. Given colonies 3 and 4 around 1kg suger, with water. The others still had stores.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

March 2012

Some hot weather, 17 degrees today. All hive have stores. Need to reduce number 5 onto 1 brood, remove rubbish comb.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Happy New Year

12.5 degrees today, all but one of the main colonies were out flying. I checked the floor for dead bees in number 2, not sure there was enough to block the entrance but still there was quite a few, cleared floor.
The small nuc I have had a lot of bees around the entrance. So I moved it's frames to another nuc box. There was a lot of dead bees in the box. It does not have a lot of bees now but it is alive.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Second treatment

Had a look at the colonies today, the first colony had no varroa drop so did not put cond sachet on. Gave them a couple of frames of stores. Added a apigaurd sachet to the other four colonies, The monitoring floor on the fifth colony had a lot of varroa on. Colonies 3 & 5 were the largest colonies over summer, 5 is on 2 brood boxes and has enough stores, numer 3 is light, both were lively.
I could not see any brood in the nuc but saw the queen (looking good), there was virtually no brood in any of the colonies, presume it's the time of year but it seems earky. It means the bees alive now will bring it on in spring.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Varroa treatment

All main hive now treated. Small nuc on 3 frames not treated, will try to get it through winter. Will look at colont stores after apigaurd treatment but expect they have plenty.

Friday, 26 August 2011


I took all supers off earlier this week and had 4 supers with sealed honey, extracted yesterday and it loks around 70 pound. Would have been a lot more if I had not have had 2 colonies on 2 brood boxes. The supers with sealed stores were stacked outside but bees kept finding holes and started to rob. So yesterday I placed on top of crown boards onto the colonies for cleaning. I have one more colony to consolidate onto a single brood box, that will leave me with 20 brood frames of stores which will go into the colonies as there is room.
When the supers are clean I need to remove and start varroa treatment.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Heavy Mistake

I changed the queens by adding a second brood box above paper. I consolidated one colony into one box after a few days. The other was left on two brood, it's now full of brood and stores, and too heavy to lift off. The fifth colony was very strong so I put another brood onto that. A brood box full of stores is too heavy to move.
I MUST NOT DO IT AGAIN. Going to leave for 5 wekks now, when we come back they should be ready to take honey off.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Good weather

At last the weather has turned nice 27degrees outside and sunny. The lime tree at the side of the house was buzzing this morning. The one in the middle of lawn has yet to blossom. Bees very busy.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Re united

I let John have my original queen from the colony I purchased at Lincoln yesterday. I then placed the frames from the strongest nuc into a brood box on it's same location. At 7pm all the bees had found their way into their new box so I sealed the entrance took down to colony 4, put some pin holed newspaper between and left them to unite. This morning the bees in the colony were not running all around the enteance so I presume they have found their new queen. There was also a couple of dozen bees flying around their old location, not sure how you can stop that?
I'll check the colony soon and try to put back into one brood box, then I'll get myself organised to do the same with my next oldest queen (green).

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Failed Nuc

Removed frames from failed Nuc tonight, they have been declining since they were made. There was no queen and the workers were laying (see photo). I will leave the nuc box there to see if the bees disperse now there are no stores there.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

June 2011

Although the weather has been cold since the nuc were made 4 out of 5 seem to be laying. Just need to confirm it's worker brood.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Cool and wet

Weather turned cooler at the moment, bees are flying from all the newly created nucs but the ones with their enterance facing the sun show most activity. Photo is the left overs from the QC's.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Me and John took 5 splits from hive 3 tonight, QC should hatch tomorrow, need to leave for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bees Queenless

more photos

Queen rearing

I made the strongest colony (number 3) queenless, the bees were running all around the entrance until they were queen right. I then cut the (3 day old eggs/larva) comb and pinned to the bars as shown, placed into hive. Photos are of + 1 day and + 2 day. Made queen right after 1 day. Many QC are drawn touching each other so I destroyed the larva in the adjoining cells, should have around 8 QC for my disposal.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Start Queens

Comb was placed in with my original queen yesterday. The image was taken today and shows eggs. Will make my large colony queenless at the weekend and introduce these eggs.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

More Space

Put supers on 3 of the 4 hives, left excluders off to try to encourage bees to move up. Doug and john helped to find the queen in third colony. I'll put some empty comb in with original queen for eggs later this week, getting ready for nuc making. NIck found this hornet up at Longsdon!

Saturday, 26 March 2011


After 2 days I could only find one Varroa from colony 2. It's a good sign or could mean all varroa are in the brood cells breeding!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Still warm

Removed old Apiguard trays, fondant and checked for evidence of queen, put some syrup on each hive.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Warm wheather

13 degrees, sunny, bees flying. All colonies bringing in pollen, need to do the experiment mentioned in the previous post a little earlier next year. Removed the empty super from under the colonies, cleaned floors (about a cup of dead bees from all), placed monitoring boards in. All colonies seem faily heavy.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


At the apiary all colonies were bringing in pollen at the weekend, mine were not. I've put monitoring boards into 2 of the 4 to see if colony warmth or local flowers determine weather bees fetch pollen.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Checking stores

I weighed colonies today, but forgot and took roofs off. From left to right 21,19, 21,20. Which means with roofs they would weigh more, plenty of stores.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Fondant Goes On

Yes I made up some bags with around 500 grammes of fondant, cut a small hole in, and placed ontop of the crown board, The small colony was dead, second year on the row I've lost the small one, must do something different!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Not Freezing

Quite nice this afternoon reaching the dizzy heights of 3.2 dregrees.
I took monitoring boards out of the 4 large colonies but will put back if the daytime temperatures sink well below zero. One bee was seen exiting a colony and flew off. Small colony felt light when efted, but it is small!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Harsh Winter

The weather did go milder for a week, I took the monitoring boards out, but then went cold again (minus double figures, freezing during the days). The boards went back in. The four large colonies have liquid on their monitoring boards, it is around the edge ( not where the colony is). This may be because of how the condensation collects or any drips onto the bees are dispersed. Photo of one of the boards.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Early winter

Placed monitoring board under the small colony last week and all other colonies today.It's been so cold, minus 12 this morning, minus 10 tonight. Weather like this for over a week!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Winter prep

I placed an empty super under the brood box last week, and this week I have removed the monitoring floor.
I hope this will make their nest cooler which will result in no brood and less stores consumed. The colony that was created late is not very big and so I will replace the monitoring floor if it gets very cold!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

even more

more images

Great weather

This afternoon it is 20+ degrees, lots of activity and bringing in pollen at the hives, and lots of butterflies on the Michaelmas Daisy's

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Still flying

Still bringing pollen in today

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Compared with last year the Varroa drop is quite low, at most 20 per day. So I have decided not to give a second treatment to any of the colonies.
THe first colony was very low on bees, which does not look good for winter. I will need to give it some insulation in deep winter. I wonder if the Apiguard has made some abscond?
I checked to find only a tiny area of brood, I wonder if the Apiguard has stopped her laying.
THe first and forth had not taken down any more feed so I removed the feeders and gave the syrup to the others.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Apiguard 2

The drop over this week has not been very high so decided the crown board may have been limiting the spread, sealing against the foil sachets. I turned the sachets over which will give colony high exposure. Today there was a high drp from all hives.
On the colonies I did look into there seems a lot of stores close to the brood, don't think I will feed for a while, so far they have had 30Kg between them

Friday, 3 September 2010


I have put a Apiguard sachet on every colony this afternoon, if some of the colonies still have low drop I may not use a second sachet.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Extracted today, loaned spinner again. Got 12kg this year only 5kg last. Very messy, need a better way to drain cappings (they would not spin in mesh bag as they touched side), the honey would not pass through the fine strainer.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Start weighing

The roofs and ekes are different weights.
Estimating each hive, the following are the weights to deduct to work out stores in colony. THese include roofs and ekes if they have them.
1 - 17.36kg
2 - 16.8kg
3 - 17.3kg
4 - 19.54kg
5 - 22.68kg
The estimatd stores are on the colony spreadsheets.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


The second colony had produced QC just over a week ago, so left queen in new box with 3 frames of comb and the rest starter strips, plus supers (artificial swarm). All the brood and qc's moved to differnt position. THe swarm have built new comb on 5 frames very quick, looking good.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Another Nuc

Made another split tonight, 3 frames with brood on, two QC, two frames of stores and space. Left my original colony with 8 frames and QC.
Shown is my first analysis of my original colony, 30 wings.

Monday, 21 June 2010


There were open QC on 2 frames on Saturday so need to make up the nucs no later than next Saturday, don't know wether to do 2 or 3 yet.. Every time I touch the queenless colony the bees race out, very lively! Collected around 30 bees from it tonight to anylise their wings, they were very noisy as they entered the freezer.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Opened my new nuc tonight as I wont be able to tomorrow. Shook out the last failed nuc and all the bees tryed to enter the new nuc, and they fought! Need to find a better way to empty a failed nuc, hope my original queen is OK.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Try Again

Took my original queen (white) from my main hive with 2 frames with brood, 2 frames with stores and pollen, 1 empty comb. Will seal for 2 days and then place where my last failed nuc is (position 4), where it can pick up returning bees. Bees were robbing empty hives tonight, should have been more careful! The original hive is strong and will now make a emergency queen, if there are spare cells I may try another nuc from the other hive. There should be a queen cell capped in 5/7 days and an emerging queen in 12/14 days.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

bad news

Checked the nucs today, they all seem to have failed. One QC has died and in the other nuc brood is hatching small, black and wet looking, I think the flying bees have returned to their original colony and the brood has chilled. Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

New Splits

Checked the 3 QC on one frame today, one had emerged. So created 2 nucs with a frame of mainly sealed brood, 2 frames with pollen and stores and a QC. The emerged queen may have been on the remaining frames, so left in the brood box and placed in the following pattern on the QC raising colony.
Original colony in brood box,
Queen excluder
2 supers.
Queen excluder.
crown board with side opening and bee proof mesh over holes
Queen cell raising brood box.
This would allow the new queen to mate and start laying in the top brood box and making a 2 queen colony.
I'm sure the nuc created two weeks ago is queenless, so if I get the chance I will place a queen cell with it, also because I don't know if the emerged queen is still with the top box I would give another QC.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Having a drink

Queen Check

Queen cells still uncapped today and lava don't look too big, I think it's 8 days after capping!

Nuc with John's QC, both cells are empty, just had a quick peek and left.