Sunday, 22 November 2009

November check

Weighted all three, without roofs and then subtracted weight of a empty super, 2.36Kg

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Staying cool

Removed the monitoring boards today, they did show all colonies are using a small area of the hive.
THis should reduce colony activity, hinder Varroa, slow down the use of their stores.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Mild October

Lots of activity during the warm days, 15/17 degrees.
Saw a little pollen bought back to the hive on the 28th Oct.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


Only one or two bees out this mornng, but they were bringing in pollen.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Winter preps

I am going to leave the monitoring floors in place this winter. All colonies are on one brood and have put an empty super under them.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Finished feeding

Taken feeders off now, will continue the 4 week treatment of Apiguard. The Varroa drop from my main colony was phenomenal about 500 in a week. The recently queened colony had no drop over the week but had quite a bit of chalk brood! I've fed 19 Kg of sugar to the hive but the combined weight has gone up 8Kg?

Thursday, 10 September 2009


Have fed 17Kg so far

Saturday, 5 September 2009


Been checking the last few days:-
First colony 51/4
Middle hive 17/4
Smallest 5/4
Dusted with icing sugar yesterday and todays count :-
First 25/1
middle 8/1
small 11/1
How long does the effect last, what will tommorrows count be?
Need to find a better way to retrieve wax from old comb!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

First Honey

John helped me extract my first honey today, 6 frames (2 of them not full).
Finished with around 5Kg, put empties on hives to clean.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Back home

Had a check on the colonies after our five week break today. They were all OK so John B has done a very good job Bee Sitting.
The Colony which had lost it's queen had 3 frames of bees and lava.
The other colony I started had 5 frames of bees.
And my first colony has 8 frames of bees, I took the supers off today they have 6 frames of honey.
Will feed all colonies with strong 2:1 syrup, the bee were very well behaved today.
Weighed first colony = 19Kg including floor, crown, brood box, bees, stores

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Prepare for Hols

Last night I checked the monitoring boards. The main colony had 5 over 3 days, the queen right nuc had 0/3, and the queenless nuc had 2/3. I thing the queenless nuc was being robbed so have sealed for a few days and going to put a robbing screen in front of the entrace.
The lime trees seem to bloom for two weeks, starting the begining of July.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Queen rearing

Yesterday checked the colony which the queen appeared to fly from and they had open QC, the worst feared. So gave some syrup and will let them get on with it. May be too late for them to build up for winter! The QC should be hatching on 26th July?
Put Monitoring floors in all colonies, check in a day or two.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Longsdon apiary

Moves quick

Found 1 queen on sunday and marked green.
Mike gave me a hand tonight, we found the unmarked queen, got a photo and then we think the queen flew off. Hope she ends up back home!

Friday, 10 July 2009


Quick check tonight and found both nucs with 2 frames with lave and sealed.
The tough task of finding and marking the queen now!
The main colony has a little capped honey in the super.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

colony checks

John gave me a hand today to check my starter colonies for eggs and the main colony for space or queen cells. We did not see a queen or eggs in either small colonies but the main colony looks good. Need to keep feeding and checking small Colonies. Pics of lime trees.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Lime trees

The lime tree next to the shed was in flower today, humming with bees.
Put second super on main hive.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Silver back Bees?

A few of my bees are arriving back looking like this, this bee was just leaving.

Any ideas?
Click image for larger view.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Re Shuffle

The hive I moved was being robbed and only uses a small amount of syrup while it was completely closed. Moved it back to original position and left a small opening. Put a frame of brood and eggs in from main hive.
Sugared main hive, left board in for 3 hours, unable to find any varroa!

Thursday, 25 June 2009


I'm fairly sure one of the nucs I made is being robbed, I am going to move it and block the entrance and put an empty box with old frames with a little stores. Hopefully this will fool them into thinking the supply has gone. When activity has stopped (hopefully a couple of days) I will replace with a reduced entrance the robbed hive.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Feeding nucs

The 2 nucs are already very different, One is only slowly taking feed while the other is emptying the up and over feeder twice a day? Had my first bit of robbing today, surprised how quick it escalates.

Monday, 15 June 2009


Made two nucs up today in national hives (five frames in each), then added queen cell to each.
A day early, I've sealed entrances and will leave for two nights, and feeding syrup.
Put super on doner hive.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Rejoined Hive

Checked for queen cells and checked the queenless hive had started cells. There where 4 maybe 5 QC started not sealed. Next Tuesday will be day 10.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Queen Prep

Put queen to one side tea time, then tried to graft at 7:30pm.

Would find it easier to graft eggs rather than lave, they are covered in royal jelly and harder to see, so cut comb like apiary did. Need to work out how many days now.
Must check Monday maybe Tuesday and destroy any early sealed queen cells. That would mean nucs need to receive cells on a week Tuesday.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Getting Ready

Moved all the brood above excluder last Saterday, new comb with queen in bottom box and fed with 3 frames of stores. Prepared queen starter cells ready for grafting.
Reclaimed the wax from 4 frames of old comb at the weekend, very messy!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Managed to go through the colony today (13 days since last), didn't find any queen cells, colony very active. Moved 3 brood above excluder and replaced with 3 frames with starter strips.

Nicki's holding the frame with the bees stringing. Queen on photo which is cloudy.

Still feeding syrup ! Will be 10 days before next inspection.

Monday, 18 May 2009

weather turned wet and cooler

A lot of rain these last 3 days, 8 days since we looked inside and we are going away for a bit soon.

The hive is situated on some slabs and some of the bees don't make it home( see photo), so I've given them a landing strip tonight to see if that helps. Is this normal?

I think the other photo is of some chalk brood that has been cleaned out?
One Varroa drop over one day.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

few more photos

Queen Marked

Today 5 members from the local group came round to see my Apiary. Nick spotted the queen and held her while I dapped a mark of white paint on her - thanks. The queen is in the bottom box with all frames holding comb made on starter strips (7 frames of brood), one frame has been drawn for drone brood. The top box has 6 old frames which have brood on. I will be able to start to remove some from next week. Need to give some more syrup to stimulate growth.
An enjoyable meet.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Feed Old Stores

Checked and found syrup finished, have scratched open 2 frames of stores which are on old comb and placed in the eke where the feeder was. Need to decide how I will recover old comb wax?

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Local Beekeepers Group

Got a few photos this morn at the groups apiary, I think I have marked a drone last week not the queen! One photo shows a marked queen and another shows lava at different stages.

Mine need more syrup now.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Another hot, sunny day

Lots of bees active today, topped the feeder up (2Lts + 2Kg) and checked the hole in the crown board was across the frames.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Post Stoneleigh

Put second brood box on this afternoon with old frames of stores (3) and frames with starter strips (8).
Put a new up and over feeder on instead of the contact feeder but have no syrup so need to fill feeder tomorrow.
Bees seem nice and docile, Nicki helped

Fast Comb

I quickly checked if the feeder was empty today, and it was.
Had a quick peek at the frames with starter strips, surprised to see the comb nearly touching the bottom and the sides of the frame, 4 days to build 2 frames of comb.
Found one varroa today.
Stoneleigh tomorrow

Monday, 13 April 2009

Plan of action

I have decided I need to put another brood box on top to give them more space and allow me to make a split later. I am going to only add frames with strips of wax which will start my move towards smaller cells. So today I added 2 frames either side of the brood and fed with 2+2 of syrup. I took out most of the pollen from the first frame I removed and fed back to them.
Lighting the smoker needs a better technique. Stoneleigh next weekend, need to pick up a few things.
I put our remote temperature sensor in the eke with the feeder, the first night it dropped to 12.4 so I put some insulation around. since then the lowest temp has been 16 and on a hot sunny day 30. the varroa monitoring board is left in but they have their entrance unblocked.

Saturday, 11 April 2009


I went through today, there was 5 frames of brood and I think I saw the queen and she was unmarked. They have half drawn out the foundation on one side, that I put in earlier in the week. They have finished the syrup.
I need to decide how I am going to give them more space, maybe a second brood box with foundation or starter strips ( if I want them to start to regress), and give them more food. Still have not found any Varroa on the under mesh board.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

First check

I had not checked through the hive when I first got it, and so when the sun was shinning today I got prepared and looked through.
First I noticed the feeder empty, 1KG sugar plus 1KG water in two days.
I moved from the back where there were less bees towards the front.
the first half of the colony was space and open and capped stores with more stores on the frames as a got to the middle.
The next four frames had what I think was sealed brood surrounded by stores, the sealed brood had darker capping, I did see a few white lava but did not notice a lot.
I had noticed as I moved along the frames that they were not evenly spaced and the last frame was tight against the hive, when I pulled it out it was all black, hard and horrible on that trapped side, the good side was mainly pollen.
For better or worse I decided to remove, and replace with foundation. After I finished I looked at the frame that I had taken out, I think it is old uncapped stores, I wonder how long it has to be in the hive to go like that?
For my first time I thought all went well, next time I must be more observant for eggs and lava, will put more syrup on tomorrow. The bees seemed fairly calm considering! Surprised again today, could see no Varroa on the board.
Things to do:-
Monitor varroa
Check for eggs & queen
Get some wood shavings
Buy more sugar
find out about removed pollen frames

Monday, 6 April 2009

First Day

The hive I bought had a solid floor and crown board and for travelling I had lifted the crown slightly with a thin twigs before securing.
At home around 5pm, I opened the entrance and took the twigs out (because there was a lot of buzzing coming from the hive and I hoped they would not overheat).
The night temp was close to a frost so at 9am there were no signs of the bees, but 11am saw a lot flying.
I didn't want to disturb them too much after their ordeal but I did want to put them on to a screen floor and feed them.
I had made some syrup the night before (1kg sugar, 1kg water, 1teaspoon lemon juice, 20 min boil).
12am I suited up and moved them onto the new base, weighed the colony, tipped the feeder upside down, placed on crown, covered with my new brood box (new supers are not deep enough) then placed the roof back on.
There was a lot of action from the bees but within an hour there were lots of bees arriving back with pollen on their legsThe colony weighed 21.8KG, this seems like I have had a good deal and it seems like a stong colony but my next concern will be , when will I have to add a super?