Sunday, 17 July 2016

At least one of my hives is doing well

Unsurprisingly, Sunday morning was also spent on the Briar Patch.

I started gently by bagging up yesterday's debris, but was soon digging out roots and clearing tangles of brambles and ivy.  The day was much hotter than yesterday and as midday approached it was too hot to continue so I headed towards the shade of the house.

I also needed to bid farewell to 30% as she was off for a couple of days at a Health Spa with her friend; Jules. Just before she left she doled out instructions about frozen meals and cooking vegetables, seeming to forget that I had managed to make my way through many years of independent living. She didn't, however, comment on the wet bed linen that needed hanging out or the pile of dry washing that needed bringing in from the garden ...

... As a Completer-Finsiher there are days when I simply shake may head in amazement at my Partner's habits. I knew that I needed to keep me, TP and the dogs fed, so mention of wet washing left in the machine would have been a much more valuable parting comment!

I lunched and fed two of the three dogs.* I then managed to make contact with the Tweedy's and arranged to visit and inspect the new hive later in the afternoon.

I would love to take a peek inside the original hive in the garden, but the advice is to leave it for another two, preferably three, weeks to give time for the Virgin Queen to hatch and take her mating flights; only then do I stand any chance of seeing new brood in the hive. All I do know is that the roar from that hive is incredible since I created the artificial swarm last weekend.

In the early afternoon I gathered together various items of beekeeping  equipment and headed over to visit the Tweedy residence. I wandered down their garden and was delighted to see that the spot that we had chosen for the hive was in a pool of dappled sunlight. There were plenty of workers coming and going and from the outside all looked good.

I suited up, blew a  few puffs of smoke in to the hive entrance and waited a minute or two for the colony to calm. I then remove the roof and crown board and was delighted to see that the bees had consumed all of the syrup that I had provided on Monday.** The feeder was put to one side and I could immediately see that they had been very busy over the past week.

Most of the foundation had been drawn out in to comb and the frames were packed with stores. I worked my way quickly through the frames and , despite forgetting my glasses, soon saw larvae. I even spotted the Queen, so all is well with this new colony. My only concern was did the Queen have sufficient space for laying with so much stores, so I added a Super to provide a brood and a half. I fed another three and a half litres of syrup and then closed up the hive.  I was delighted with the way this colony had developed over the past week since being split from the parent colony.

I then tidied up my equipment and the site and wandered up to Join P&R for a cup of tea and a chat in a shady spot. I left around four o'clock and headed back towards home.

That just about sums up the main event of of the day. The evening was the usual routine of Dinner, Dogs and dishwasher, before relaxing after a particularly productive couple of days.
* There are fussy eaters and then there is Whiffler. I have never seen a dog so disinterested in food. Oftentimes he will just sniff his food and wander off, only returning to eat it when Tyson starts to show an interest in his bowl. I swear he only eats it to spite her.
** When I created this nucleus colony it had plenty of brood, but very few stores and the syrup was provided to rectify that deficiency. The syrup is needed to nourish the brood and bees and ensure they have enough food to be able to draw the frames of foundation in to fresh comb.

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