Saturday, July 18, 2015

Final post

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to all those who enjoyed following my blog but sadly my time as a beekeeper has come to an end due to suffering really bad reactions the last three times I got stung. As a result I've now sold off all my hives and given away the best of my colonies.  I've since taken up course fishing and will be starting a new blog on the various pleasure sessions and matches I take part in.

All the best


PS. my old email address of has now been deleted.

Monday, May 28, 2012

May Madness

Well the last week and a half have been crazy. 
Almost every day I've been called to collect swarms, some for fellow bee keepers others from members of the public. One couple live next door to a young lady who has decided not to inspect her bees. To date they have thrown a prime swarm and at least 4 cast swarms as a result. I managed to collect 3 of the 4 cast swarms but sadly 2 of them decided to abscond two days later.

Today I was called to collect this swarm. I wondered at the time if they would all fit into my nuc but decided to see what happened.

I returned at 22:00 this evening only to find a thick layer of bees covering the nuc as I suspected they would be. Tomorrow I'll go back with a langstroth deep hive and a frame of brood from one of my other langstroth colonies in the hope its will persuade them to hang around.

The home owner said she had never seen three grown men looking so scared when the swarm began to cluster 20 feet away from them in the tree.

I've put together a video of this swarm.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May Inspection

Finally after almost a month of not being able to inspect any of my hives due to constant rain the weather changed.  Good thing it did as I found lots of sealed queen cells in two hives, went through both colonies and found both the old queens so quickly artificially swarmed them both by moving the queens and several frames of bees into new hives to simulate as if they had swarmed as I had a couple of spare nuc's on me, also transferred 3 more frames with some brood and the bees covering it making sure none of the transferred frames had a queencell.

Opened up a nuc and found a drone laying queen so removed her before pinching a frame with two nice looking sealed queen cells and a large amount of sealed brood and donated it to the nuc.

At the start of the year I set up a bait hive with several drawn combs. Today I found it has a nice gentle colony in it, they have obviously been in there for over a week as there is a nice patch of sealed brood across the middle of 3 frames surrounded by lots more eggs and larvae. After going through all my other hives just to check they are all queen right with lots of eggs and brood in all stages so I can safely say the swarm wasn't one of mine. 

Just need a few weeks of reasonable weather now so the virgins can emerge and get out and mate.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

8th April 2012

Its not been a great start to the year as I've lost four colonies due to varroa and partly due to starvation. As our Autumn was very mild the bees were out flying through to the start of December they managed to collect a vast amount of Ivy nectar which had set solid when they needed to eat it. Some of these I will melt down and give it back to the bees when I shook swarm them over the coming year instead of feeding them sugar.

Thankfully though its not all bad news, my other 11 colonies have survived and several of them are building up quickly and are very strong. This is a short video of one colony which is in a home made 6 frame 14x12 nuc

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

IR - Hives

Considering the hives are made from both wood and poly and the size of the colonies varies the amount of heat generated which the camera has picked up is surprising. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

IR - Infra red movie of a cup of tea.

A cup of tea filmed by a thermal imaging camera, its amazing to see what the human eye can't. 

I intend to take a series of IR pictures of my bee hives this Winter. I have no idea what I will capture if any thing at all as the wood may be too thick, but I hope I will be able to see some of the heat generated by the cluster.  
(This camera was on lone to us whilst our camera was being repaired, sadly our camera does not have the option to record video footage) 

Monday, August 22, 2011

August Swarm

I was asked to help a fellow bee keeper with a swarm.
When I arrived there was two separate clusters in his neighbours garden. One was 20ft up in a tree and the other was on the side of the climbing frame. We decided to have quick look inside his hives first to see which of them had swarmed, during which time the cluster in the tree combined with the other cluster thankfully as this made collecting them so much easier as I only had one nuc. Once I'd collect over 85-90% of the swarm I left them alone and returned again after 19:30 hrs.

As soon as I approached the nuc I could clearly hear two different pitches of piping. I think each of the original clusters had its own queen. My guess is one is the parent queen the other is one of her daughter queens (princess). At some point they will fight to the death and more often than not the younger and more nimble queen will survive. Over the next few weeks she will need to fly out and mate and then will hopefully start laying before the end of the season when the weather turns cold and the colony start to cluster to keep warm for Winter.