So, we’d noticed they’d been getting angry when we were looking them over – and they’d been very calm before. The most likely reasons were (a) the queen was dead; or (b) we smelled of bee alarm pheromone, which they give off in death. So we washed our suits (and I then resewed some of Youngest’s veil, which was damaged in the wash).
Then, as I refilled the smoker this afternoon, I noticed 5 dead bees in the nozzle – they must have flown in and been cooked there. So every time I pumped in some smoke to calm them, I was actually pumping in the smell of dead bee. Which might not have the required effect… =O}
So, that sorted, my neighbour Tim – the one who builds aeroplanes in his garage – wanted to come take photos, so we set off at 7pm, as they would be settling and the heat was going from the day.
A couple of pictures:
You can see the little white curl of larvae in one of them very clearly.
The son of the couple who own the land rushed down to join us in his suit when he saw us – he’s become an avid beekeeper – and passed on the sad news that a fox had got 2 of their chickens at around 6pm the previous night – early for a fox, and a warning for us to get our girls away earlier. We’d just got an egg from each of the four of ours for the first time today, too.
And since they’d been out over the weekend, they had way more partridge eggs than they could handle, too, so Tim and I were sent home with about 10 each in little plastic tubs. =O) Got to love Lisa and Mark, and not just for letting us house our bees on their land =O)
So, the bees were pretty happy this time – although we had to cut the visit short as my smoker went out and my lighter ran out of fuel. But there was plenty of brood, loads of stores, and we gave them another 2 litre of sugar syrup to be going on with. The last frame in the hive was getting some attention now – all the others are built out – and with a little work I should be able to get another frame in the end next time.
I’ve built loads of frames for the Super box to go on top too – I might add that next time, to ensure they keep building and don’t think about swarming – I did find a practice queen cell as I looked through the frames…