Friday, April 4th, 2008- Battersea Bees – London

It was a lovely day today so we took the opportunity to do some spring cleaning on the Battersea hive.
We had wintered this hive with a brood and a half and I wanted to give this hive a new set of brood frames to give the bees the cleanest start to this year) so the bees would have some energy food to start drawing out the foundation ready for the laying queen to get on with her laying.
Opened the hive and found that everything was looking great. Lovely calm bees and that distinctive smell of a fresh honey bee hive.
I wanted to find the queen and temporarily separate her from the colony so that I could work on the colony without risk of harming the important queen. Found her quickly, caged her and dropped her into my pocket to keep her dark and warm.
Split the super from the brood and had a quick look through to see that all was in order. It was pleasing to see everything in ship shape. Lovely spread of brood, pollen and honey stores
I left the old brood at the bottom and on top of that put the new brood box with some frames of new foundation. These boxes were separated by a queen excluder. I then shook of the bees from the super into this new brood box and replaced the queen into the mix. On top of all that I put another queen excluder and a super box with some frames of their honey.
I wonder what she must be thinking since before I arrived today she had loads of places to lay and suddenly I come along and place her in a new home with no wax cells available.
Can she stop herself laying at such short notice?
Any answers welcome.
Once the hive was all closed up I cleaned up the garden and sliced off some of the chunk honey from the frames I had stolen from the super. As usual it was totally lovely.
The first of the Battersea honey for 2008. Not enough to jar just yet but I think this year will be a good crop.
Didn’t have the chance to take photos today. Shame.

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