Archive for May, 2011

18th May Apiary Session

May 19, 2011

To say the session was busy is an understatement. Before the training began we went through 7 colonies looking to see if the queens were laying, removed a couple frames of eggs for a member whose colony had gone queenless. Two colonies have laying queens which were marked, one of the colonies was later split to make up the observation hive with the remaining frames making up a Nuc around two queen cells from hive 1.

During the training we examined 6 colonies, hive 1 has sealed queen cells so we reduced their number, hive 2 had a new floor fitted, hives 3, 4, 6 and 8 all are performing well.

During the pre-training examinations we did see 3 queens but no signs of laying so we did not mark the queens. In one of the hives we were unsure about a queen cell that was still capped so eased off the cap and a virgin queens head appeared, at the same instant another queen appeared at the cell with the intent of investigating her opponent (looked just like a cat perched on hind legs peering over an edge). We cut out the cell with new queen inside and put her in a cage in the glove compartment of a car. She later fully emerged and we ran her into a Nuc that appeared queenless.

Finally as it was getting dark we retrieved another frame of eggs for another member with a queenless colony, to say the bees were not happy was an understatement!!

Woodwork Day Photos

May 7, 2011

We had a good morning building hives and frames. Thank you to Mill House Farm ( for allowing us to hold the event in their workshop and making us feel welcome.

Below are a couple of photos taken during the session.

Woodwork day 7th May

May 6, 2011

Bit late notice but the programme for tomorrow is:

Start 10:00am and work on the following activities:

Frame making:

20 Brood

20 Super

Equipment Repair

Have selection of brood and super boxes

2 Nucs

Roof needs metal and tlc

Build hives

Have full Caddon and Thornes seconds hive to be built from ground up

Own equipment

Anyone with own equipment for building are welcome.

The location is:

Mill House Farm, Risborough Rd, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP22 5XL

If you travel from Stoke Mandeville towards Princess Risborough it is on the left just after the goats centre.

See you tomorrow

Quick update on last week’s activities

May 6, 2011

Last Saturday we completed an inspection of the colonies missed on Wednesday.

We finished off the Bailey comb change on hive 1, it had a queen cell in the bottom box with sealed brood and a lot of bees, so we turned the bottom box into a Nuc, added a frame from hive with open queen cells and moved the box to the nursery.

On Wednesday we had our first beginners group and were able to go through 4 hives. At the same time we tried to go to the next stage in the miller method of queen rearing, however the queen in our breeder colony was no more. Luckily colony 2 had three good frames with quality sealed queen cells, two frames were removed to populate hive 7 (deceased queen) and create a new Nuc.

Two weeks into the training season and we are already at 16 boxes, although to date we have not progressed beyond 8 queen right colonies. Next week should see this change with a couple of colonies due to become queen right J