Monday, 27 September 2010

Bee News

Update on bees. My attempt to rescue the queenless hive by putting a frame with uncapped brood into it from another hive failed. The colony was too depleted, I guess, and wasps finished it off. Then there was an odd coincidence. An ex beekeeper whom I know phoned me to say there was a swarm in a tree outside his house. This was the end of August!! I went round and collected it and put it in the dead colony's hive. It was not a big swarm, maybe just a cast, about the size of a rugby ball, and it had been in the tree long enough to build comb. I hoped it had a laying queen and waited a couple of weeks before looking - and, yes, it had: there was newly capped brood. I'm feeding it and just hope the queen will produce enough bees to last the winter. The other two hives seem fine. The bigger of them yielded 80lbs of lovely late honey at the end of August - unset, golden and fragrant, from (I think) lime trees and field beans. Now all hives are taking in light yellow pollen from ivy.