Sunday, 15 July 2012

Anniversary hive check

Our second anniversary was marked by checking some of our new hives in the Meadow apiary.

The first task was to sort out the Warre hive where the bees had built comb down through both boxes - cheese wire was used to slice it off above the bottom box.
Assessing the situation

Comb removed from the hive

Preparing to rebuild the hive

Andy collects a swarm!

We then inspected the National hive where we found queen cells - unsure of whether the hive was preparing to swarm or had already done so we left well alone.

Opening the National

Newly-drawn comb with queen cells

More queen cells

Lastly we opened up the Top-Bar hive.  Surprisingly, given how docile the other hives had been, the bees in the Top-Bar were quite bad-tempered.  So with the weather worsening we fed them, closed the hive and retreated.
Top-Bar comb

Mary's just been stung!

It was quite noticeable in all the hives how low the honey stores were - the bad weather has obviously affected the bees severely.  Let's hope things improve from now on - meanwhile, we'll keep feeding them.

Friday, 13 July 2012


two years ago today
on a wet 13th July
our first two nucs arrived

July 2012
a wet friday 13th
bee friendly collective
bee friendly bee keeping
with 17 hives: warres, topbars, and nationals kept the Rose hive way without queen excluders and foundation

happy anniversary!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Bees on the move!

New Cell in Mytholmroyd

Having collected a number of swarms over the last month or so we're in the happy position of having more bees than we can cope with at the moment.  So it's been decided to loan a colony to the newly-formed Mytholmroyd cell based at Red Acre allotments. Being more than three miles away this is a straightforward move for the bees.

The bees were closed up on Saturday evening ready for the move on Sunday morning.

Loading the hive into Mari's car.

Red Acre is a great site for bees with a open, southern aspect and lots of forage nearby - especially Himalayan balsam, although some of the allotment holders seemed less than enthusiastic about this!

Arriving at Red Acre.

Th Red Acre cell has created an excellent apiary site - fenced for security with a 
wood-chip floor making it easy to move around the hive.

John setting up the hive.

Finishing touches.  
As soon as everything was set up Radhe opened the entrance and 
the bees quickly emerged to explore their new surroundings.
Radhe releasing the bees.
Carol. Sue, Mari, Radhe and Frances.
We wish the Mytholmroyd cell much joy and great success in their new endeavour!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Beautiful swarm

Swarms all over this year

This is the beautiful swarm we collected from the allotment.

Just thinking how to collect it without too much disturbance

Its a four person job. 

One to hold the collecting box, one to cut the branch, one to lower the branch with bees into the box and of course someone to document the occassion

 Leaving now to catch the stragglers as they are guided in

 Then simply place them into one of our new Warre hives

What a well behaved swarm - job well done