Wallington honey

Dropped into the Wallignton site to give the hives more room for honey.
I had made up three brood boxes with foundation which I gave to the two Nationals and one of the WBCs. The other WBC has two supers and the top one was still empty so left it as it was.

This means that
National #1 has a brood, nike air max 97 QE, Super, nike air max 2016 Brood, roshe run Super
National #2 has a brood, QE, Fjallraven Kanken Big Super, Brood
WBC #1 Brood, Super, QE, Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack Super, Super
WBC #2 Brood, QE, Super, Brood

Took away one WBC super full of honey. Mochilas Kanken Baratas Harvested the lot this afternoon – a healthy 12 kilos of 11 frames.

Queen on the outside of the hive

I enjoy watching the comings and goings of our bees and occasionally have the time to spend a few moments at the side of the hive examining the bees for the type of pollen they are carrying and generally enjoying their activities but yesterday I was surprised to see the queen walking around the outside of the hive.
Surprised is understating my reaction it was more of a shock but I managed to stay calm enough to gather her up and place her on the landing board. Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack The reaction from the other bees was favourable and after having a chat with two or three of them she wandered into the darkness of the hive seemingly quite happy.
So what was going on there I asked myself. air max soldes pas cher I can think of only two explanations; 1. Fjallraven Kanken Kids She was returning from a mating flight – but she had no drone parts attached to her body, Fjallraven Kanken Classic 2. nike air max 1 She was about to leave on a mating flight.
What I want to do now is have a look through the brood box and see if I have a laying queen.

Swarms, virgins and queens

A queen cell that has been opened by the emerging queen.
The new queen.

Didn’t want it to happen but it did.
Looked into the hive at Wallington and found that the super was untouched. 10 frames of foundation and not a bee on them.
The super had been there for 3 weeks so I suspected something was amiss.
On further inspection at the 2 deep boxes I was using for brood I found no queen and 12 capped queen cells!
This meant that they had swarmed. Fjallraven Kanken They had run out of room and should have gone upstairs to the super but for some reason the workers hadn’t gone through the queen excluder. I had heard this could happen but hadn’t seen it before. nike pas cher They had then started to raise new queens and when they were capped over the old queen took half the colony to find a new place. basket nike air max This explained why there wasn’t many flying bees and the not so crowded colony.
I wasn’t sure what to do so left them as they were and went home to do some research.
Decided that the best thing to do was to split the hive. I had 2 deeps and 2 shallow in the one hive which meant I could split them into two quite easily.
I built the floor and roof for the WBC (which I had had lying around fortunately) and took it down to the site the next day.
My plan was to leave each of the hives with one good queen cell so there would be no chance of a cast swarm.
Opened the hive and took off the queen cells and placed them in a box until I was sure they were none left in the hive. nike femme pas cher So far so good.
Too my surprise when I looked into the box at the capped queen cells I saw a queen wandering around. I picked her up and put her in a queen cage. When I looked in the box again 3 more came out. I caged them and quickly split the hive. nike huarache One deep and shallow for each. This meant that I was just in time. If I had left it any longer to visit the hive a virgin would have emerged and swarmed again with half of the remaining bees. This would have depleted the colony to a state of possible failure.
Since I was sure the hives were now queen cell-less I put one virgin into each of the hives, waited for a minute, and put the second virgin in too. nike air max 2016 Figured I would let them fight it out – survival of the fittest and all that.
2 more queens emerged in the process but I had to cull them since I didn’t have any nucs or mini nucs for them. (Would have been nice to have a mini nuc to take off site to get her to mate)
This was on Wed 20th and since then the weather has been cold and wet. This reduces her mating chances. Fingers crossed that she does mate.
If anyone has a suggestion on when I should check the hive for eggs let me know.

Urban honey in jars

After a rainy summer and the fun of the hives swarming we were surprised to find a full super of honey in our no 1. nike air max homme Battersea hive.
This year we had invested in the extractor and large food safe containers.
Using the capping fork rather than knife we harvested the super in less than an hour.
We got 9.2 kilos or 20lbs of the glorious honey.

The honey is light,

Dreaded lurgy?

It’s been a worrying week. Colony collapse disorder is in the news again. nike running homme Looks like it could have reached the UK.
Brian thought he found evidence in the photos he took of our spring clean, of what looked liked two of the most dreaded diseases known to bee; American foul brood and European foul brood. They are the BSE of the bee world and anyone found with contaminated bees has to have all their bees, hives and equipment burned. nike air max flyknit 2017 I thought Brian was overreacting until he showed me the photos and I reluctantly agreed they did look like the ones in the book. Fjallraven Kanken Mini I was devastated. nike air max 95 They say it has nothing to do with the beekeeper, but you can’t help thinking you must have done something very wrong. nike air max 2017 Moreover, you feel really bad that you couldn’t protect your bees from danger. Brian sent the photos to our regional bee inspector to confirm our worst fears. However, a three day bee conference delayed any response, so we were on tenterhooks fearing the worse. I rang the chair of my beekeepers’ association who told me that the first sign of either of these diseases was a strong smell. nike internationalist As neither of us smelled anything other than honey, we shouldn’t worry, he advised. But we did. It wasn’t until Friday when Brian was able to show an experienced bee keeper at his weekly bee keepers’ association meeting that we finally had confirmation that all was in fact well. There was no disease. We were so relieved.

First sting!

Can you believe it more than a year after I started this beekeeping malarkey I got my first bee sting right in the head. Luckily Brian – who must have had a least a dozen stings by now as he’s far too macho to wear gloves or socks when opening the hives- didn’t have the video camera to hand because I didn’t handle it very well. In fact, I screamed and screamed. I’m sure you would have done if a bee had got caught in your very thick, long, curly hair. The reason I wasn’t wearing my bee suit was because I was just standing in our small garden in Battersea at the time. Unfortunately, however, I was in the bees’ flightpath. nike air max 90 pas cher I could hear the bee buzzing but there was nothing I could do to get her out of my hair. No amount of shaking would work; probably just made her dizzy and angry. basket nike air max 1 While Brian was trying to find her amongst my locks, I felt a piercing sensation, like a sharp pin prick. Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks Sale UK A few seconds later he pulled her out. nike air max 90 femme If you thought I had it bad, she was dismembered. Half her abdomen was still attached to the sting she’d deposited in my head. Fjallraven Kanken Mini She would die very soon afterwards, whereas I took an antihistamine and just had a wee bump the following day. Thankfully, no anaphylactic shock to report. It wasn’t so bad. I have been told that rubbing an onion onto a bee sting reduces the swelling but in this case not ideal for the hair. Weather’s perked up last few days. Hoping for some honey by the end of month.
You’ll see that this entry is officially posted by myself. Mochilas Kanken Mini Although I’ve posted at least half the entries on this site (remember Brian was away when I first got the bees last June) we’ve been doing it all under one name.

Is the queen laying?

She often starts laying in January. nike air max 95 Well there’s not much else for her to do, nike magista stuck in doors all day surrounded by doting workers who ensure she’s kept very warm.
There are two tell tale signs:
1. nike air max 97 Bees taking pollen into the hive in January – Yes, nike x fragment we’ve seen that on numerous mild days.
2. Fjallraven Kanken Sale A growing pile of dead bees appearing around the front of the hive. nike air pegasus These are the winter workers dying off as their new replacements are born. Mochilas Fjallraven Kanken Big Yes,

February Snow

The garden looks beautiful with a rare white covering but the bees won’t see it. Fjallraven Kanken UK No excursions for them in these sub zero temperatures. They’ll be huddled together keeping it a tropical 33c in the hive. Kanken Big UK The layer of snow on the roof may help to insulate their home. nike air max 2017 Hope their bladders last out until warmer weather arrives. They’ll probably need a feed soon to get them through the remainder of the winter. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack All that beating of wings in the hive to create caribbean conditions in a corner of my cold London garden takes it out of them. nike pas cher We have two blocks of candy – concentrated sugar solution – to feed them in an emergency.
.

Urban Bees, London, Spring Clean

A video of us spring cleaning the hive…individually inspecting each frame.

Finally warm enough to do the hive spring clean. This is where we open up the bees’ home after the winter and see how they’re doing. Mochilas Fjallraven Kanken Infantil With colony collapse disorder in the news – a strange new disease which has seen bees across the US mysteriously flee their hives to die – we’re a little worried that they may have left home. But we had a peek a few weeks ago and they were still there, so it seems unlikely. nike hypervenom There are, however, a long list of diseases that they could have picked up over the cold winter months. Mochilas Fjallraven Kanken Classic The most likely include: verroa, tiny brown mites that kill the bees; chilled brood – when the bee larvae has died of cold – and chalkbrood, a fungus that kills the larvae. Bees are pretty susceptible to disease these days, so we’re looking out for signs of any problems. We’ve got a book from the Defra, the government department with responsibility for bees – yes, there is one – containing graphic photos of common diseases to help us identify them.
We also urgently need to find our queen and mark her. nike femme It’s a good idea to know where she is as the working of the hive revolves around her. Even though she has a much longer body than her worker bees, at the height of the summer with 50,000 bees in the hive it’s really difficult to see her without a mark. Fjallraven Kanken NO.2 Backpack Now with only some 10,000 bees we’ve got a better chance of spotting her. When we do, we have to trap her in a little cage and put a blob of Typex-like fluid on her back. The marker colour is white because she’s last year’s queen and they get white. This year’s get a yellow blob. Queens usually live for three years, then the workers create a new one by feeding royal jelly to a larvae.
After queen marking, we’ll give the hive an extension so the queen has more room to lay her eggs. Brian’s been told that adding a second brood box on top of the existing one is the best extension as the bees will move to the frames upstairs in a few weeks so we can take away the downstairs and clean it. We kit ourselves up in our bee suits, light the smoker in case the bees get agitated and open the hive. Fjallraven Kanken Classic To our horror, the first frame is a bit mouldy due to some damp at the front of the hive. The next two are similarly blackened, but there are still stores of honey. To our relief, towards the centre of the hive we find the expected brood (babies) which is pearly white coloured larvae in all stages of development, surrounded by multi-coloured pollen. Finally, to our excitement on the eighth frame we catch sight of the queen. She is huge. Much bigger than we expect. Bit scary. She tried to run away. We quickly trap her, and blob her, nearly squashing her in the process, then let her go. Comprar mochilas kanken The last three frames hold more honey.
The verdict is that the things look OK, yippee, apart from the damp. Brian takes photos of all the frames for a visual record.
We can’t believe how well behaved our bees are during the inspection. There’s hardly a buzz out of them. I wonder if there are any cannabis plants nearby. Brian didn’t wear gloves and didn’t get one sting.
We add the extension, and give them another storey half full of honey that we never harvested last year because it wasn’t ready to eat.

Queens Park bees – adding supers

As we mentioned back in April, Urban Bees expanded and with that came a bit more work, nike roshe run so we haven’t had a lot of time to update the blog with the details of what’s been going on at the three hive sites.
Yesterday we were at Queen Park to add a super to the colony and sort out the double brood box situation.
Back in April when we did the spring clean we found that the colony had come out of the winter fine but the hive was a bit damp leaving some of the comb black and mouldy. Fjallraven Kanken We thought that it would be a good idea to clean out that comb. nike air max 90 femme 2017 So we put a new clean brood box on top of the old one with a queen excluder between them. Comprar mochilas kanken Took the queen on a frame of brood and put that into the upper brood box. We also left a super on top of this
We figured that after three weeks all the brood below would have hatched and we could go back and take away the old brood box leaving the colony with nice new frames to lay.
When we did eventually get back we found that the bottom brood box was full of pollen and honey which we were worried about taking away from the brood and queen.
So what we have ended up doing is stacking the hive with the new brood box on the bottom (which by this time was had six frames of sealed brood and two frames of larvae) on top of that we put the super – which had drawn out comb full of incoming -nothing sealed and no brood, nike air max 2017 possibly because there were only nine frames which were not aligned with the brood frames.
Then we put on the queen excluder, nike mercurial a new super of foundation and on top of this we put the old brood box with the rationale that the bees will take the pollen from there down to the brood, clean up the frames and leave us with drawn out brood frames.

Hoovering a swarm

Here is a clip of hoovering up a swarm of bees that landed on a fence post.

A swarm on a fence post
Tightly packed waiting for the scouts to find their new home.
Getting sucked up by a hoover to their new home.