Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Bee News

Last Saturday it was warm enough to open the hives. One has not survived the winter. It has quite a lot of live bees still, and many dead ones, but there is no sign of brood and clearly no queen. They had plenty of food, and were a really big colony. I don't think their dying out has anything to do with mice getting into the hive (if mice did get in) and certainly nothing to do with the legendary Colony Collapse Disorder. More probably the queen died or was damaged, resulting in what old beekeepers called "spring dwindling". The other two hives are booming, lots of pollen going in. I've fed them both with 2kgsx1pt sugar solution, just to pep them up, though they both have quite a bit of food still in store.
At the end of the 2008 season I had three supers of solid rape honey, which I had not been able to get off the hives in time to extract. I stored it over winter in a shed, hoping to feed it to the bees later. Throughout last summer the shed was alive with wasps, and even though I wrapped the supers in black polythene they continued to try to get at them. When I unwrapped the supers last week I found that the wasps had cleaned them out perfectly. Every scrap of rape homey was gone and the drawn comb in the frames was clean and dry and ready to go back on the hives. So wasps have some use.



Blogger kerstin hallert said...

In Paris where I live bee hives are now seen on the roofs of public buildings (the Opera,
a great deal of ministeries) and with splendid results. Bees love Paris, no pesticides, plenty of flowers on balconies and trees -in particular chestnut trees - in abundance on the boulevards as in the gorgeous parks.Honey is sold with arrondissement for hives clearly marked.
Is a British country gentleman like yourself aware that bees are actually at their happiest in Paris?

With very best wishes for your hives
Your Paris fan club

1 April 2012 at 03:21  

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