I brought these five colonies from Coursegoules for the winter. The rest of my colonies will over winter in Coursegoules. The operation was conducted between 12th Nov. and 16 Nov. (unusually late because of the lovely weather) because this is the time when colonies of Asiatique Hornets die off for the winter and cease their bee eating habit. The distance is 43 Kilometers, the altitude difference is 750M and the daytime temperature difference is 6 deg warmer.
All 5 were from last year’s queen rearing. They are not super strong and the reason to bring them down is to give them a shorter and less cold winter. The second reason follows on from the above is that with a shorter winter the queens will start laying early next year. This will be in February (an early spring here) when the Mimosas flower. I plan, like last year, to make at least 5 new queens by dividing the colonies. I have various methods that will give me these new queens and colonies up an running a month before I can attempt the same operations up in Coursegoules.
It is totally amazing how bees react to a relatively small climatic change. Within 30 mins at their new location the foragers had found and were bringing in pollen. Remembering that it was mid November, seeing the difference of them being in a winter ball in the morning and flying around madly and finding pollen just two hours later. A colony of bees is an amazing thing to behold.
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