THE HONEY BEES

UPDATE  MAY 2014
MY FIRST HONEY OF 2014
This is my first honey of 2014. it was very crystallised so I had to separate the wax by heating it a little . It has the consistency of runny  toffee but with a wildflower kick in the aftertaste. Really quite a robust flavour unlike anything I’ve ever tasted from a shop.I only took a few frames  as I’m hoping the bees will give me some more honey later this season with two good hives but lighter and more easily extracted honey later in the season.

At the moment  my bees are very active. I began the season with two strong hives  and  am  currently running with seven hives . I initially had to make three splits when queen cells appeared in the strongest hive .Within days this strong hive split again  anyway and I had to retrieve  this particular  split from my neighbour’s garden . I got them in a tree and collected them in  a cardboard  box, but in my haste forgot my boots and picked up a few stings on  my ankles.That was enough excitement for one week….

 Just yesterday the bees started spiralling and spinning around the hive again and I had to suit up and chase and catch another split.It’s a busy time and I had  to ready new brood boxes for the e new nuclei.It was time to get more frames built …it’s  going to be an interesting summer. I’ll be busy inspecting and maintaining  seven hives.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=398282466976316&set=vb.100003836979859&type=2&theater
UPDATE JUNE 2013
http://youtu.be/01-H5Z2whP8

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Where did those bees get to?

Where did those bees get to?

The video below was shot on my phone just after the bees swarmed as you can see in the photos.I managed to catch this swarm and hived them in a nucleus box.I went back to hive #1 and pulled two frames with queen cells and established them in new brood boxes.Hopefully this will stop swarming for a while and allow me to bring on some new hives. https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=268063936664837” 2013-06-12 12.44.50 2013-06-12 12.44.57 2013-06-12 12.45.38 2013-06-12 12.45.48 2013-06-12 12.45.56 2013-06-12 13.44.51 2013-06-12 13.45.46 2013-06-12 13.46.07 2013-06-12 13.46.20 WP_20130610_001 WP_20130610_002 WP_20130610_003 WP_20130610_004 WP_20130612_001 WP_20130612_002 WP_20130612_003 WP_20130612_005 WP_20130612_006 WP_20130612_007

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Update 2012 :

Last winter I lost my entire first honeybee colony. Truthfully, they didn’t grow as quickly as I had originally hoped, but they survived wasp attacks akin to the Battle of Britain and came into the autumn in seemingly good health. I can only imagine that either the extreme dampness  in November or  the fact that there were not enough of them to retain sufficent  heat to sustain themselves caused their demise. I fed them and they were given the various required treatments but maybe there wasn’t enough forage or possibly the farmers sprayed the fields with something harmful to wildlife.

There are a lot of possible factors and bees have been dying worldwide on a large scale for some years now.In any case , every one of them died so I’m starting again. Last year I ordered another queen and nucleus. They should arrive in a day or two. Proposed delivery is the first Saturday morning in June. Fragile Planet have already been in touch with delivery  details so keep those fingers crossed. Here we go again…
Sometimein May or early June my first queen bee with some of her court will arrive from Fragile Planet. They were ordered late last summer after years of prevarication and thought.I spent some time in the Autumn building the hives and frames in preparation for the new inmates.Hopefully all will go as planned and I’ll be able to issue regular reports on our progress. These are very interesting but very wild animals so the best that can be hoped for is that they are manageable. Us old hippies have to do our bit to try and save the planet,after all,so watch this space for future photos, films and updates.
3RD JUNE 2011

You couldn’t make it up : Fragile Planet called yesterday to tell me my nucleus of bees were finally ready and would be with me within twentyfour hours. Little did I realise that it would be my old mate Rafferty [ the original Postman Pat!] who would drive up in his big red van and tentatively hand over the little buzzin’ box. The little critters are currently sitting on top of the hive waiting for their great installation tomorrow. It’s a beautiful day here  so hopefully more will follow, as will photographic evidence when I get it organised. Nicole took these first day snaps while I was otherwise occupied! Keep watching the skies!!

2 JULY 2012:

Sometime in the first few weeks the queen  left or died. I got onto Fragile Planet right away and they posted out a new queen right away. Duly installed in her little queen cage, she was introduced and released to the brood body, I checked a few days later to see if the bees had accepted her and luckily all was well. I closed up for a week and on my birthday I checked again. We managed to get some photos of her this time. She has a white spot for 2011 so she’s easy enough to find now.

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