July – troubles and tribulations

July – troubles and tribulations

I have not posted for a while. The life of the bees and their beekeeper carries on regardless.

At the moment the bees are working their socks off, there is honey being made, there are new bees being born to carry out the work. Sometimes there are setbacks. I lost a queen and then one of my biggest hives suddenly became queenless. Action had to be taken. In the latter case I decided on taking a frame with less than three day old eggs and put it in the queenless hive. The bees would normally make a new queen and all would go back to normal.

In case that did not work I decided on an insurance policy.

 This is a photo of my second split in a week. (Insurance policy) This little Nuc/Ruchette hive on top is empty but I put in 2 frames of brood, some of which was less than 3 days old.  Overnight the worker bees will go up to look after their brood. Tomorrow I will go there and remove the smaller box from the top, close up the hive below and take the smaller hive to another part of the apiary. In 16 days a new queen will hopefully emerge.

The main hive will carry on as before. 

While I was doing all this I was aware of bells ringing in the back ground. I thought I might have won the lottery! More realistically,  I thought that maybe the shepherd was moving his flock and that I might get trapped in my apiary.

As it turned out I was being watched all the time by a family of goats.

 To keep my honey clients happy, last week I took off  4 frames (8 Kilos) of honey from my biggest hive. It is unusual to take off honey so early but people tend to call it “spring” honey.

This honey has been in the making since a few Erable ( maple) trees came into blossom just below the apiary. My neighbour told me that the trees bussed with bees, so I thought I must get some of this for myself.

Following the extraction process I asked a friend to taste it. The comment was “tres doux”.  That made a happy beekeeper very happy.

To sign off for this post and for those number crunchers in my following: I now have 19 colonies ( Assuming that the new queens emerge correctly). 

Why I can never get to my aim of 20 I do not know (yet). If you have question about my post please do not hesitate to post a question. Alternatively write to me at [email protected]. I promise a reply.

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