Julie and I have been away for the last week, so I was keen to take a look and see how our hives were progressing today - not a detailed inspection - but a quick look-see. In addition, I guessed that the feeders would want topping up.
We've been feeding both the hives since we did the split in late April. Hopefully this has served to build up the colonies. Sure enough, when I popped the roof off on both hives, the feeders were down to the dregs (which doesn't look pretty). Cleaned the feeders out a little - another use I'd never expected to use a hive tool for....
The feeders? We're using Ashforth feeders on the hives at the moment. They're simply trays where you can pour the sugar syrup in. The bees come up and take the feed through a series of slots.
Both hives seemed quite strong - there was a sense that the newer hive was more vigorous than the original one - though there were plenty of bees in both!
This afternoon, I went up to the allotment to pick some raspberries. I ran into some friends out for a walk; Phil and Cathryn with their children, Henry and Joanna. Phil had expressed some interest in seeing the bees before, so invited to come and meet them. Plenty of bees were flying, so it was nice to be able to explain a little about beekeeping. Yes, Henry, honey IS bee-sick.
After they'd gone, I filmed a little video at each of the hives, which you might find interesting. Sorry there are no real close-ups. I didn't have my bee-suit on - and even with nicely tempered bees - you still have to be a little careful!
Mellifera or Bombis in trouble?
3 weeks ago