On Sunday I checked my hives. Three of the previously queenless hives now have queens – I even saw one of them, but she scarpered before I could mark her. The little hive at the front which was the result of an initially unsuccessful ‘artificial swarm without finding the queen’ into which a few days later I added a frame of brood with a queen cell on from the original hive also has a queen. I am very happy about this.
The only hive with no laying queen at the moment is hive 4. Despite this hive having a brood and a half for extra space they still swarmed.
As you can see, the apiary is a mess. So I strimmed back all the nettles and grass and now it looks a bit better.
I also noted that two of the hives had more capped honey in their supers so I decided to spin some off on Monday evening after work.
For some inexplicable reason I decided to try spinning it off in my bee shed rather than on the patio behind our house. For the record this was a really stupid thing to do.
The bee shed filled up with bees, the honey filled up with bees, quite a few bees drowned in the honey, the shed became very sticky with honey and I had to do the whole procedure in my beesuit with thick gloves on. I am not doing this again.
I did however extract another 17lbs of honey bringing my total for this year to 33lbs. Yay bees – thank you.
I have also decided to grow lots of lavender bushes in my polytunnel from seed or cuttings or something and then plant them all over the campsite for the bees. It will look and smell beautiful