The Lucky Beekeeper #2

So, I’ve been to see them a few times since, and they’re getting on
well.  The end board I made before was too thin, and they’ve been
growing out the comb on the next frame way too wide:
A Frame built out too far.

So, I’ve now shuffled the frames about, so that this one is next to
another full frame, and pushed them too close together, to make the
bees cut it back a bit, so they can squeeze through.  And I’ll keep
moving them close until they get it right.  I’ve also made a better
endboard by buying some thick ply and cutting it to the shape of the
whole frame.  This then frees up the old frame I’d put hardboard in to
take beeswax foundation.  Only it wont go in the box until they shrink
down that other frame, so we wait.

Here’s a picture of a busy frame:

A busy frame

The white capped stuff at the top is mostly sugar, from the syrup I’ve
been feeding them to get them building.  The next layer of yellow
capped cells is brood – larvae.  Some still growing, under their caps,
from the first run.  Some have emptied, and new larvae have been put
in, and they’ve not been capped over yet.  There are a few of these in
the middle-ish.  And bottom left of the brood area – you can just see
white C shapes in them.  The brown-coloured cells below that contain
pollen, which is a bee’s protein supply.  Slightly different pollen
colours signify different pollen types.  Then the lower cells are
empty right at the bottom, but some of the others seem to have honey
in, but haven’t been capped yet.

If you look carefully at the bees, some of them have lighter yellow
stripes than the others.  These are the newborn bees – my new flock
=O)  There are a few drones about too.  Workers lay unfertilized eggs,
if they lay at all, which make drones.  I found no queen cells though
– they’re not looking to swarm or replace this queen yet,
unsurprisingly as they still have loads of room, and she’s working
hard laying.

Now, this hive now has 5 stablemates alongside it.  My mate Simon has
had to split the original 2 he had on this site, as they got too big
from all the food they had to collect and store.  And he had a swarm
in another small box down by where we park the cars.  When he checked
his hives on his other site on Saturday, he was able to remove 6 queen
cells from them (all of them have doubles already, too) and give them
away.  Which turned out to be a bad move – two of his hives near mine
are now queenless.  One has been for long enough that now half the
bees in it are drones =O(  We found two queen cells in that, but no
queens – they probably fought and killed each other =O(

Queen cells look very different – like a round-bottomed vase or naan
oven, neck pointing down – as they need to holder a far larger bee
plus Royal Jelly.

So, he needs to re-queen them, but hopefully will be able to get
queens from another hive soon.

We moved the box from near the cars up to be near the others Sunday
evening.  It took both of us, they’d filled the box so well, even with
the Super off the top, it took two of us two lift and carry the hive.
Problem was, once we’d rebuilt the hive in it’s new home (which we did
late, so most of the bees would be in it) there were still some bees
looking for it where it had been.  And they weren’t friendly any more.
I’d already been stung earlier, when I foolishly put a tile under one
leg of the stand for mine to better level it, before I put my suit on.
As usual they went for my neck, and luckily, I don’t react to them.

Anyway, so there we stood, Simon, 3 kids and I, near our cars, with a
bunch of angry bees around us.  Our only choice was to drive home
still suited up, and take the veils off once we got home and were sure
we’d not brought any with us =O{  Beekeeping can be embarrassing.  ;O)
But hopefully the bees will pick up the smell of home and travel the
30 meters or so to it’s new site and got home that night.

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