Category Archives: urban bees

Spring time and the bees

It has been a long time coming but the sun is out and the mercury has risen giving our bees the opportunity to get out into the fresh air work those muscles.

We have been told about colonies not coming through the winter so I was worried about our hives but so far the ones in Battersea are all well and the hive in Wallington is amazingly strong. 10 frames of bees. Don’t understand how that can be but there it was. I gave them a new brood with new foundation and some drawn out comb. Hopefully the queen will move up into the clean parts. Then I can isolate her with a queen excluder for 3 weeks when all the brood has hatched. Then I can get rid of all the old comb and the diseases that might be associated with it.

That’s the plan.

Added wet frames this morning.

After harvesting a super of honey I gave the bees back the empty wet frames for them to lick clean. I did this first thing this morning which sent the bees into a frenetic buzz looking for the source of this amazing food. This meant loads of foragers went looking for it outside the hive. It took them about an hour to realise that the food was not outside the hive but inside the hive above the clearing board. During that hour I had hundreds (or so it seemed) of bees checking out the porch, kitchen, lounge and garden.

Must remember to only do this operation at night when the bees are confined to the hive.

Queen in super again

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.

Queen in the super

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.