Saturday, 23 April 2011

One Hive, Two Hives

Needless to say the new hive we ordered last weekend hasn't arrived. I believe this is called 'The Law of Sod.' And over the last couple of days there has been a noticeable amount of foraging bees emerging from the nuc box which means they are going about business as usual and require more room.

So we made a mercy dash to our bee mentors, who kindly lent us a spare floor, brood box, crownboard and roof to use until our own hive arrives. Andy was very excited because it needed scorching which meant he got to blaze a trail with the blow-torch.

We are now a two hive family.

In Hive One, there are many bees and a full super of nearly all capped honey. The second super is drawing out fast so we swapped the two supers over so the builder bees don't have to struggle past a full-to-bursting honey super to get to the not quite so full one. Their new Queen has yet to emerge from her cell - we think she is due in the next day or so. But if she doesn't, then the bees have built extra queen cells in response to their being queenless, so, fingers crossed, come honey or high water, they will have a new queen in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, they seem happy to do their thing.

In Hive Two, Queen Philibert continues to reign supreme, so phew! ...we still have a queen and if worst comes to worst, we can re-unite the two hives in Autumn to make a strong colony for Winter. The baby house bees that went with QP are now out and foraging and have started to draw out the fresh foundation we put in last Sunday.

As for Bee-keeper One and Bee-keeper Two, aka Andy and me, well, we have moved the top bar hive to the back of the garden and baited it with lemongrass to catch any swarmy bees that head that way, and we have purchased another nuc box to bait with lemongrass and put up on the flat roof of the extension to catch any swarmy bees that head that way.

However, as I speak, there has been a wail from the landing. A wail of 'It's stuck!' The landing window, it transpires, is not quite wide enough to get the nuc box through it. Actually, it is wide enough to get it through far enough for it to become well and truly stuck. I have offered my services vis a vis getting things out of tight places but only because I am pretty good at unpeanutting the peanutted ties of Year 7 boys.

There are mutterings of 'I'll have to take the window out.' There is a bee hovering already. Is it sussing out the new accommodation? Or fancying coming inside to wreak a spot of in-house havoc?

Who can tell with bees?

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