“Another May new buds and flowers shall bring: Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?” – Charlotte Turner Smith
This spring certainly keeps bringing. The weather continues to be fantastic for the bees. The recent rain has been welcome. This enables the plants to draw up water and increase the nectar flow in the flowers.
In turn this ensures the bees supply continues to come.
The hives are still doing well, and the bees continue to build up their honey stores. Hopefully at the end of May, I’ll be able to harvest the first honey crop of 2020
Last year I housed a honey bee swarm I collected from the local area. On returning, I put the swarm into a new hive with about half the intended frames I had to hand. I needed to assemble more and intended to put the remaining frames in the following day.
However, I didn’t get the chance to return to the hive for a couple of days. At this point the colony had drawn wild comb which was hanging from the crown board (the lid on the top of the hive).
In a dilemma, I decided to leave the hive until the following season and sort it out then.
Yesterday, was the day. In the main picture you can see 5 pieces of wild comb. Each of these were packed with brood (growing baby bees).
I took three pieces of the wild comb and attached each piece into a frame using elastic bands (not sure how this will work). I then transferred these to a new hive with new frames. The new hive was put back in the same place as the original hive.
I couldn’t find the queen, but hopefully she was somewhere amongst the existing frames or was brushed off into the new hive as I removed each piece of wild comb.
Now all tidy and manageable, the hive can be easily inspected. Next week, I will go in and see if I can find the queen or evidence that she is still laying.
Spring is gathering momentum, and the spring blossom is beginning to erupt with flower buds bulging and about to explode. The bees are out and about on warm days looking for blossom and sources of water.
I am frantically trying to get prepared. This new hive is ready to hopefully house another colony of bees in the coming months.
I still need to put together loads of frames to replace old wax, but also to allow for expansion and new colonies. Not much time left, but I am sure it will come together and we will be ready.
Well wouldn’t you bee unhappy too if your house has been blown over, and you are exposed to all the elements?
I can see the hives from the house and am always keeping an eye on the them checking all is well.
Everyone had been warning us about #StormCiara, but for some reason I didn’t think about the hives. This morning when I got up, the hives were fine, but the wind was gusting. The BBC website said gusts up to 70 miles per hour.
Mid morning, one of the hives blew over! Spotted as it happened, I shot out to pick the hive up to protect the poor bees from the wind and rain. As I upped the hive and went to get some blocks and straps to to put on the roof and hold it down, it blew over again!
Angry, unhappy bees is an understatement! Poor things. Anyway, I managed to up the hive again (Four stings later – four little bees obviously managed to get into my bee jacket) I weighed it down with bricks and strapped it together. I then strapped all the other hives down too.
Fingers crossed the queen has not been damaged, and all the girls will support her as she starts to lay in the coming weeks.