Honey Flow

I don’t know, I turn my back for 5 minutes and the bees are up to something again!! This time I think it’s a good thing as they have filled their supers to the brim!! I’m not sure where they are getting their forage from but there seems to be a honey flow! The garden is full of flowers but they don’t seem to be getting it there.

Leri Hive – Honey Flow

Only in one of the hives of course, the others are still up to no good. The biggest of the hives that has yet to swarm (Leri) was the first hive that I inspected I could barely lift the supers they were so full. I also didn’t have a spare super to give them so had to quickly make up 10 super frames. By the time I’d done that I didn’t get around to inspecting the brood chamber so I’m still not sure what they are up to.

I don’t actually know if it is still queen-right as we had a swarm take up residence in an accidental bait hive recently, so it could have come from here. However, the other hives have been swarmy too so it could equally be a cast swarm from one of those as well. The bees in Leri seemed to be doing so well and producing so much honey that I decided I’d just leave them to it.

They are currently on a brood and half with two completely packed supers and now a third super to fill.

Leri - Getting Taller!
Leri – Getting Taller!

Clettwr and Dyfi Hives – The end of the line?

These two hives are the result of a split earlier in the year. Unfortunately the original queen seems to have absconded and the newly hatched queen doesn’t seem to be present either. There was no sign of a queen in either and one of them (Clettwr) is particularly weak. My plan with these is to leave them another week and if the situation is still the same then I’ll donate some eggs from another hive (assuming we have some) and maybe merge them too. It could be the end of the line for these, but it would be nice to get a new 2022 queen from them if possible.

Bedroom Hive

This is a new hive that a swarm took up residence in a week or so ago. It wasn’t really set up as a bait hive but it seems to have worked and there is now a colony living in it. It’s not on the best of locations just outside our bedroom window but it could be worse so we’ll leave it where it is for now. It is quite nice to be able to see them coming and going from inside the bedroom though!

I had a look in it for the first time on Monday. I discovered that there wasn’t a full complement of brood frames or super frames in the hive so the bees had done some creative comb building. That’s not ideal from a management point of view. I therefore decided to knock down what they had built and to replace it with some freshly made frames with foundation. The comb was full of honey so I put it on top of the crown board so that they still at least have access to it.

I didn’t see the queen but I did see some eggs. Hopefully it’s a queen-right colony and will now settle down and build up some strength. I’m not 100% sure of the provenance of the queen and therefore don’t know her age but it could be the only queen-right colony we have at the moment so hopefully she’ll be OK. Let’s hope my slightly destructive interferences hasn’t upset them too much.

The hive hardware they are in could do with replacing at some point before the winter as it was retired boxes that were really only intended for keeping spare frames in so they won’t be the most water and wind tight.

Old Hardware
Old Hardware

More Hardware

The honey flow in the larger hive meant that I’ve now run our of super frames and foundation. I also needed to make up some brood frames to fill the bedroom hive and to replace those in the nuc boxes so it was time for some shopping. If we manage to harvest all the honey in the larger colony we may well need to buy some more jars as well!

All in all, not the best of inspections as I really would have liked to see some sign of new queens. That doesn’t look likely now and it’s leaving it a bit late to start rearing one. That’s what I might have to do next week if the situation remains the same though. However, it’s nce to actually have a ‘honey flow’ for the first time ever!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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