Saturday, 21 April 2012

Honeycomb Heart

Today promised to be a typical April showers kind of a day so I wasn't really sure if we'd get to open he hives at the apiary as all.  I'm quite like a bee in that I don't much like to be out and about in the I was delighted when the showers held off long enough for a few hours bee keeping.

After last weeks "Shook Swarm" we were expecting to find the bees busy building honeycomb on the new frames ready for the queen to start laying in... early signs of bees in "strings" looked good ....

Some of them had been very busy and built some rather wonderful, if somewhat wasteful honeycomb shapes....

 Can you see the shape?

We also found an intruder the bees had dealt with!!
This is an invading bumble bee - she probably went in to rob a drop or two of honey - but she was dispatched with a sting and the covered in propolis - can't have been a nice way to go - but its certainly an effective way to deal with thieves

The day ended with a demonstration of "hiving a swarm".  A swarm had taken advantage of the warm weather earlier in the week and made a break from where they were but had happily fallen into a friendly bee keepers hands.  So - how to get them from the cardboard box into the hive???

The answer - shake them onto a plank of wood and let them walk in!

This is surely where the science of bee keeping meets the art of keeping bees - allowing the bees natural behaviour to work for you - they walk up and into the dark place that looks like a great home - hey presto - the swarm are in your hive!

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