Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bees again!

When we were harvesting our honey, eventually our little extractor broke and so we borrowed our association's big elecctric extractor, and got the rest of our honey. We now have 4 gallons waiting to be bottled! The frames went back to the bees - we weren't very prompt and apparently they were quite grumpy for a day or two! They're full again now though, and have new boxes to fill with brood and stores and are getting on quite happily.

We went to the other apiary today, the one where we haven't harvested any honey but where earlier in the month we did a huge split, had all those queen cells etc. We had 4 busy nucs where all the news queens have mated and are laying! The nucs have all now been moved into full sized hives (OSB's). They were big and strong enough and now have plenty to keep them occupied.

As for the other hives, we have 2, including the big swarm we caught, that are requeening themselves. One is completely lacking in anything looking remotely like a queen, but still has a large population, so we will unite them with another colony. The rest are all doing splendidly, and one of them was so full that we had to give them an extra box today.

There's some lovely forage for them in their new apiary. Lots of clovers and wildflowers, and a huge field of beans and one with what looks like it might be phacelia just coming into flower.

Altogether a successful beekeeping session, lovely to know that our homemade queens are up and running! Definitely the most successful requeening - natural or otherwise - that we have ever managed!

1 comment:

Janet said...

I'm so impressed by your bee posts.We visited the bee keepers stand at Gardening Scotland. It was really interesting ans something we had thought of doing when we lived in Orkney. We were put off by the short growing season there.
All that honey you collected. Yummy.