Posts Tagged nucleus of bees

Bees in a box!!

Neil got a call from BT to say that bees had got into one of their roadside connection boxes, and the engineer had beat a hasty retreat and requested some help.  So today Neil packed up all his equipment that he might need for capturing bees and met up with the BT engineer and drove to this isolated location where the box was.  When he arrived it was not immediately apparent where the box was as it was surrounded and almost hidden by blackberry bushes. This is Sam the BT engineer with the box.

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Neil then donned his bee suit and wellies and looked further into the cabinet.  This is what he saw:

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Neil thought this was a large swarm and fired up his trusty smoker and gave them several puffs of smoke.  When the bees started to move it was apparent that they had been there for some while as they had started to produce comb with sealed nectar stores. This made it a bit more awkward as he had originally planned to brush them down into a large cardboard box that had a sheet in it. The plan changed to using a paint scraper to dislodge the wax comb and drop them into his small nuc box hive.  Due to the size of the swarm he took the five frames out of the box and deposited the bees and their comb into it.  He then brushed the remainder of the bees from the back of the box and removed any outstanding comb.

He sealed the nuc box up and brought it back home.  The BT box was closed back up and the hole where there had been a missing screw was sealed to stop bees getting back inside.

Back home he emptied the bees into a full size hive and gave them a feeder with one to one solution of syrup (water and sugar).  They are getting used to their new home and are taking down the syrup and will hopefully start drawing out new comb on the brood frames in his hive.

Maybe we will get some honey after all this year!!

 

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RIP Bees

We  have lost 2 hives of bees.  When I say lost, I don’t mean we have mislaid them, I mean they have died.

Three weeks ago on a sunny Sunday, we could see the bees flying from all three hives.  Then gradually this movement slowed down in hives 1 and 2, until last Monday we could see no movement.  So Neil donned his bee suit and went to investigate.  In hive 1 there was nothing, no bees at all, and in hive 2 there was a mass of dead bees.

A mass of dead bees

So Neil spoke to the bee inspector and sent over some pictures, and the bee inspector said it was most likely that the bees had died because of the varrora mite.  Last year, when these 2 hives were inspected, varrora mite was found.  So Neil treated the hives with thymol which is supposed to kill the varrora mite, but it would seem that with the Spring the varrora became active again and the bees just didn’t have the number or the resistance to survive the mites.

Neil was really disappointed and felt quite despondent when he discovered this.  But unfortunately it is something that sometimes happens to bees, and the bee inspector himself had lost 5 hives out of 30, so it’s not just us.

We are thinking that maybe we will buy another nucleus of bees to replace the dead ones, but firstly the hives need clearing out, all the frames destroyed and the hives themselves fumigated and sterilised.

I don’t think you go into beekeeping to make money!!.  Whilst we still have some honey to sell and some to serve to our B&B guests, we obviously hope to produce more this year, and so we will have to pay out over £120 for a new nucleus of bees.

Life in the country eh!!!

Visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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