Monday 11 May 2015

Not a lot of anything.

So nothing much has been happening down the allotment. I came down with a stinker of a cold the middle of last week which left me with a sore throat and a bit chesty. Nothing so serious that I had to take time off work but it certainly took it out of me and with the weather being changeable at best I figured it was best not to do too much down the allotment and make myself worse.

I have of course popped down to water the greenhouse and whilst there last Friday I thought I would just pop over to the bee plot...what I found there was a little busy to say the least!!

The right hand hive was absolutely heaving and the bees were fighting with each other to get in and out, knocking the pollen out of there baskets and just generally in a frenzy. I knew I couldn't leave them like that so got kitted up so that I could remover the entrance block which would give them more room to get in and out and whilst I was at it though I would take a quick look in the hive to see what was going on.

Bee hive, busy entrance, pollen, nectar
Here you can see how bust it was outside of the hive,
I took out the entrance block to give them plenty
of room to get in and out without having to queue
so much.
Of course the weather wasn't great so I knew it would only be a quick look and was disappointed to see some capped swarm cells in the brood box. This meant the the original queen should have already swarmed out with a load of the bees but to be honest there were that many bees present that I didn't think it was likely...I guess the bad weather did have it's good points as it meant the bees didn't think it was fit to swarm.

With no frames made up all I could do was close the hive back up...collect some equipment to take home to build up and pray!!

Frame Building, deep brood
The son decided to help with the
frame building.....
frame building, deep brood, kids, dogs
Of course Tro wanted to help too but
to be honest it would have been a lot
quicker without them both!!
So Saturday morning had me building frames and getting sorted ready to do some swarm control but the weather was that cold and windy I knew there was no chance of getting in the hive.

Anyway with the frames built I went to the allotment and my heart dropped when I saw how little activity there was outside the hive....surely they swarmed on Friday afternoon??? Maybe they were just being lazier due to the cold??

Didn't matter what I surmised I wasn't going to find out on Saturday in the cold wind!!

So that took me to Sunday and although  the weather wasn't great I wasn't going to miss the little bit of sun and warmth we had and so I went up the allotment...donned my bee-suit and opened up the hive.

To my delight..the bees hadn't swarmed and I managed to locate the queen and carry out swarm control. What does this mean?? I now have two hives and a nuc on the go. Of course I have to hope that the new queen hatches out and mates successfully in order for this to work but if for whatever reason she doesn't I can just merge the old queen and other bees back in with her and I am no worse off. So fingers crossed it all goes well.

I wasn't sure how much you would really want to know about what you do when the bees are likely to swarm and why so haven't covered it too much here but if you want to know more then just follow this link to learn more about what I did!!

Incidentally although I'm not up to full health yet I am feeling a lot better than I did and will hopefully get a little more done down the allotment this week.


  1. sorry to hear about the cold. that's never fun. this is allergy season around here.
    the bees are really keeping you busy but it sounds like you have a good handle on things

  2. Bee keeping must be a full-time occupation as with looking after any creature you're responsible for, but you know what you're doing and it sounds as if all is going well so far. I hope you soon feel 100% better so you can get down to the allotment this week. All the best.

  3. I love how dogs pay such close attention to what you do, If they had hands I'm sure they could do the jobs themselves laters

  4. I'm glad you're feeling better, it's no fun feeling grotty when there is so much to do. I'm glad you were able to keep your bees x

  5. Dear Tanya, I hope that you are feeling much better!! The weather here has been on the chilly side for this time of year; though I am loving it. I am quite sure the warm weather will hit all at once!
    I am working on a garden again this year as well; nothing like the planting that you do. I am so impressed with your skills. I hope this year will be more productive than last. I am sure it will though.
    I am glad you got the bee situation under control. You are amazing at what you do.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo


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