Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bee Happy

So first I moved my hive, with some loss of bees, but successfully overall. Then I made a nucleus hive using a frame of brood with a queen cell. Would it work?

I was determined to wait at least two weeks before looking inside the nuc, but ten days later I had another look in my main hive and there was considerably less brood that before. I was worried. At the weekend I looked into the hive again, and although I thought I saw a few eggs, there were no larvae, and not a lot of brood. Panic call to Barbara my Bee Buddy. She came over last Tuesday and we looked again. We could see no queen, little brood, and, because it was a grey day, no eggs but there were a few larvae. We thought it might be a worker bees laying drones. But the thing I have learnt is, don't panic, wait a little longer. We looked into the nuc hive for the first time, and straight away Barbara spotted a large fat healthy looking queen! Yay!
Today I procrastinated all morning, then took a deep breath and went over to the hives. First, I looked into the bottom box of my main hive. The outside frame had honey and pollen in it and I removed that before looking further. I inspected the next three frames and -oh joy - found them full of eggs and larvae! There must be a queen in there! It appears my old queen absconded with a small swarm, and a new queen has taken over.

The next job was to check the nuc. I found that too was full of eggs, larvae and capped brood and full of bees, so I moved them into a full sized box. I now have two hives!

Now I'm just waiting for a phone call, this week or next, to say a nuc is ready for me to collect in Albany and then I will be a three hive beekeeper, which has been my aim since I started. Next year I'm thinking I might get myself a top bar hive.

I can spend hours watching these magical creatures.

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