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Where are our drones?

Well, its been endoftermitis over here for us! We have been to all the events, end of term concerts, music exams (distinction, so proud), assemblies, sports days, my own assignment results (I passed by the way) and training for Ride London (not me, not on your nelly, thats the hubby).

So we popped up just to check the hive was still there. We should be visiting every week so must up our game.  We decided to give them the sugar solution again as there is slow spreading into the new frames though it is starting to happen. The queen was there and my, there were alot of bees, plenty of eggs and lots of capped cells.

Where are the drones?

Right so, in case we need a recap there are three types of bee in a hive. One queen, lots of workers, and at different times of the year several thousands or several hundreds of drones or none at all.
The job of the drone is to fertilise the queen, when they have done that they are not much help. They spend time in the hive, eating the honey and not doing…
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Marking the queen

Well, you might have noticed that the blog is about the bees, mostly, but that there is a fair amount of juggling going on with work, family, etc etc. Alongside my first assignment which has been due ( I am doing a course) we have made a model volcano, tested it with mentos and coke, thats a sticky business, and started the process of term end and every event that goes with it.

The hive is growing which is great and we decided to take the feeder off for now to give the bees more chance to go out and forage. We need them to draw out (so thats making comb and putting honey in for eggs and larvae) around three quarters of the brood box (thats the one the queen lives in) before we put the super (thats the box where the honey will be) back on.

Whilst hubby was there 'just checking' he managed to mark the queen! This is a job that of course I might have liked to be there for but guess it had to be done sometime.

Why do we mark the queen and what does it mean? 

We do it so we can see …

Whats that wormy thing?

We went to see the bees today as we had to move the sugar solution away from them. Too much of that and the honey will taste a bit funny. Though of course this year we are unlikely to taste it ourselves so not sure what we were worrying about. The bees have to have it to see them through the winter since they have only just started this lark and need to build reserves.

They have been busy but I realised today I am not sure what I was looking at. The brood box should have eggs - Yes, saw those, Larvae - Yes, think so and capped cells with larvae growing in them, soon to become bees. Mmmm, I am not sure about those. There was lots of things going on, which I am going to have to investigate.

I am pretty sure there was honey, and capped cells but there were also black cells, bit of a worry and one cell with a funny looking worm thing in it!!!

Hubby tried to photo it but turns out you cannot get an Iphone to take pictures if you are wearing marigolds so think we missed it. We are going to …

Back on track, and the bees are hungry!

So back on track with the bees, and they have been gobbling up the sugar solution. We visited them in the week to see how things were going and added in a bit more solution. I am so impatient to sneak a peek at what is happening in there, but we have to be patient. Don't want to spook them. I am actually certain that looking at them won't do anything, I think it's just a bit of nerves, a bit like taking out your car for the first time after you pass your test. I would like it to be quiet and with no one around to look over and think 'What are they doing? Really, they are doing that now!'

There are a few pictures of them feeding, hopefully there are a few more still inside the hive.




Operation Asian House

Bees have taken a slight back seat this week as we had a far greater challenge to complete. Yes, we entered to ring to take our places in the battle of 'completing the Lego Card Collectors Book no matter what else you might have to do'.

Never before has some much depended on so little, well perhaps there was something like that might have been said around the 1940s but totally different, totally. This was nothing like a war, there was no pushing, definitely no fisticuffs.

The penultimate card exchange took place in the car park of ballet with the littlest in attendance for her first drop. All went smoothly and I co-ordinated the proceedings via Whatsapp with both parties. Only one panicked message from hubby regarding the exact colour the Audi he was looking for. I have seen those ads for M15 in the paper and I think that I do actually have all the attributes required.

The final card, number 72, was much less stressful, thanks Thomas and Nick for donating it. We are complete. …

Deadlines, deadlines

We should have visited the bees today, just to check all is well, they have enough to eat, they are settling in, checking any problems with the neighbours etc etc, but we didn't. Work got in the way today, plus it really is too hot to be wearing the kit!


We got this - see below -  from the National Bee Unit, we've got the sugar in and we are making up the solution tomorrow, we don't want to be responsible for starvation!

Beekeepers may wish to monitor their colony food levels closely, particularly in any splits, nucleus colonies or colonies where the entire spring honey crop was removed. In some areas of the UK, our Inspectors are concerned at finding colonies that are starving.Feed can be prepared from refined white sugar and water mixed at a 2:1 ratio or one of the proprietary ready mixed syrups available from Beekeeping equipment suppliers.

They are here!! 🐝 🐝

Good news, we have a NUC! It arrived on Sunday at 9am at the apiary after the bees had been asked to come back earlier Saturday night for capture. Or at least that's how I understand it.

There are 10,000 of them, I've not counted, but seems that this is a pretty good estimate. They are beautiful, and noisy. When we got them out of Andy's car (our apiary manager) they were vibrating the box, and they sounded angry. Apparently though they were just keen to get back out. It was very hot Sunday so putting on the suits was a challenge. I was keen to get out of that so I can understand the bees mighty have been keen to exit the box.

We transferred the frames from the NUC into our hive, gently mind, as my gloves are only marigolds and I can feel the bees walking in my hands. then we checked for the queen, eggs, nectar and larvae. Everything was there, so clean and healthy looking, even the queen.

I've not seen a lot of queens but ours is beautiful, she is not that big but she…