Saturday, 6 August 2016

One good hive, one not so good

I seem to be falling behind with my Journal entries at the moment, so here is another "two days in one" in an attempt to get back on track.

I took a day off work on Friday and spent a very relaxing day, in the company of Mr Tweedy, at  Edgbaston Cricket Ground watching the England v Pakistan Test Match. The weather was lovely and we had a fantastic pair of seats that gave a great view of proceedings. I wouldn't say it was the best days Cricket I have ever seen* but one cannot complain at witnessing six Pakistani wickets and Cook making a half century. I even managed a forty minute snooze in the sun when the English Bowlers were making a meal of the Pakistan tail enders.

And so on to Saturday; I started with some gentle pottering in the garden. I needed to tidy up the site for the daughter colony of bees, as this will be returning to The Pile in the next couple of days. This took no more than twenty minutes and then I donned my bee suit, lit my smoker and finally lifted the lid on the hive that swarmed a fortnight ago.

I had allowed two weeks for the young queen to hatch, mate and settle to laying, but as I made my way through the frames of the brood box there was no sign of queen nor brood. This was not good. As each day passes without a queen the colony dwindles as workers die off . At this point in the year there are only six or seven weeks before the colony changes behaviour and hunkers down for the Winter. There is a faint hope that I missed the Queen and she has just not yet started to lay, but I may well have to write off this colony.

30% and I then took an early lunch before heading in to town for supplies. She headed in to the supermarket, whilst I nipped in to the DIY store next door. Twenty minutes later we were finished and then drove in to the town centre to pick up a new travelling bag for TP ...

... We have started the count down to our holiday; lists are being prepared and bookings are being made. We still have three weeks to go and at this rate we should be ready with no last minute rush.

The next stop was the Tweedy residence where I, again, donned my bee suit and inspected the daughter colony. This was doing really well with seven full frames of brood and plenty of stores. The Queen was seen wandering across a frame, but I didn't need to see her to know that this artificial swarm was the one success of my first Summer of beekeeping.

After more holiday discussions, we headed home, unpacked the car and spent more time in the garden watering and feeding.

The evening was spent in front of a film and checking the internet for information on how quickly a Queen Bee will come in to lay. There is a slight chance, but I am not laying any bets.
* This was back in '97 at Trent Bridge, when I witnessed Shane Warne decimate the English Batsmen.

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