We had the BBC Newsnight crew over today to film us talking about A World without Bees and they wanted us to open the hive to get some shots of urban beekeepers. I thought we would just go through the motions and open the super and see some honey and the brood that I put up there last week. When we opened the hive we saw brood in all stages in the super. This means that there is a laying queen upstairs – again. I don’t understand why and how she is getting through the queen excluder. Or maybe the hive has two queens. We took away the queen excluder and I will check on things on Friday.
It is all a bit strange.
Newsnight will be aired on the 18th maybe.
After yesterday’s inspection from the lovely man from the Central Science Laboratory it was discovered we had a drone laying queen in the WBC hive therefore the colony was on it way to certain death. Gladly though I had a nuc with a small colony of bees that I had recovered from a secondary swarm a few weeks earlier and was therefore able to use to give new life to the failing WBC hive.
To combine the two hives I took all the contents of the nuc including the queen and placed them into a super on top of the brood box of the WBC separated by a sheet of newspaper. (I had previously taken out the drone laying queen). Overnight the queens pheremone will spread throughout the combined colonies and hopefully the inhabitants will then happily live side by side. The bees will tear away the paper until the workers are free to move between the two sets of frames.
This morning I had a look at the entrance and everything seemed to be normal. No fighting or dead bees.
Tomorrow I will find the queen and put her in the downstairs brood box and give them a feed. Hopefully there is enough time for the colony to expand in numbers before the autumn. Cutting it fine.
Battersea – I was expecting a super full of honey but instead I got a queen in the super. At least she is a laying queen proven by the brood over a couple of frames.
There didn’t seem to be many bees though so I reckon they swarmed when we were away on holiday.
I replaced a couple of the empty brood frames with the two of the super frames that had the brood on them and placed the queen back downstairs. Leaving the hive with just one super.