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SCBKA Blog 8)

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Alive! She's alive, I tell you!

Posted by Meryl on July 22, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Reg's queen cell put in nuc 14th June has finally come up trumps, despite some initial difficulties (added more bees, there was a battle). Two palm-sized patches of brood after 5 weeks. I think I'll call her Regina....


BBKA basic assessment

Posted by JohnK on June 14, 2013 at 3:50 AM

We are doing this thro Reading bees and hoping to be assessed in the near future - maybe something for us Chiltern folk to think about/disorganise? Just going thro the syllabus is very helpful and surprising how much you pick up even tho you think you know the basics.


Posted by slx0w30 on May 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Checked my colonies.

1) Saw queen (SQ).  Very black and not marked.  I didn't have my marker pen!  Swapped the half and broodbox so the half is now on top.  Saw a queen cup on frame 8 in the broodbox.  Nothing in it.   4 frames of brood and eggs.  Does not need a super.  Not good temper so maybe re-queen later.

2) SQ.  She is laying on 2 super frames only.  I need to get some drawn 14x12 in the box.. Still a very small colony but surviving.

3) Queen cells everywhere, mostly sealed !!  Didn't see the queen despite going through the box twice.  Perhaps she went yesterday whilst I was out all day.  Left an unsealed cell but knocked the rest off.  On opening the cells some were empty despite being sealed.  What's going on?  There were eggs present.  Check again in 6 days.

4) Did not see queen.  Removed some sealed drones looking for varroa.  1 or 2 had some. 


Nuc)  Fed another contact feeder of 2:1 syrup.  Didn't open them up.


I'll put the varroa boards in to monitor varroa drop.  Will treat all colonies with VarroaGuard next time.


First honey of 2013

Posted by slx0w30 on May 10, 2013 at 6:20 AM

Colony 3 has produced 3 supers of honey :D  I took one off yesterday and extracted it.  15lbs :P  Excellent work. 

I also made a nuc from this colony as they had started swarm cells and there were loads of drones too.

Apiary meeting

Posted by slx0w30 on April 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Great meeting at the apiary this afternoon.  Quite a chilly wind. 3 colonies opened and they were all fine.

Lots of cake and chat.

Another warm day

Posted by slx0w30 on April 20, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Ribes in flower.  House Martins arrived on 14th.

Colony 1 - not opened

Colony 2 - Removed dead bees from floor and mouldy frames.  Marked queen yellow and popped her into the broodbox.  She is small and completely black.  She is the daughter of a brilliant queen who lasted 3 years.  Added QX.

Colony 3 - Marked queen yellow.  She is big and yellow/black striped.  A bit of Italian blood in here :/  Popped her into the broodbox and added QX.

Colony 4 - Marked queen yellow.

First warm day of 2013

Posted by slx0w30 on April 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

I've been waiting for this day for months.  Finally, the weather is warm enough, 17°C, to have a quick peek at the colonies :). 

4 colonies went into the winter, 2 were quite strong, 1 was weak but colony No 2 was badly affected by varroa last year and was very weak.  I wasn't too hopeful for it although each time I put fondant on during the winter, I was greeted by a few angry faces!

Removed the woodpecker and mouse guards.

Colony 1 - National + ½.  Small patches of brood in the ½.   Removed the remaining bit of fondant.

Colony 2 - 14x12 + ½. The ½ was left on in the autumn as supplementary food.  Small patches of brood in the ½. Left the remaining fondant.

Colony 3 - 14x12 Polystyrene +½.   The ½ was left on in the autumn as supplementary food.  Strong colony!  Added a super as the  ½ already was part filled with nectar.  Didn't look in brood box

Colony 4 - 14x12.  This was a late swarm from 3 and was very small in the autumn.  I packed the broodbox out with insulation as the bees were only on 4 frames.  Small patches of brood.  Saw queen.  Added a frame of foundation.