Sunday, 17 May 2009

Oxfordshire Beekeepers pay us a visit

Yesterday afternoon we had the pleasure of hosting Oxfordshire beekeepers (OBKA)at our allotment apiary.
Like a flight of angels, our new, white bee-suited friends arrived at our lotty to a rather entertaining start! Not only did we have a top-bar hive (TBH), two National hives and a 2-week old nucleus of bees to show them, we also had a swarm!!! A few minutes prior to the first people arriving, I thought I would have a quick check around our allotment (which is immediately adjacent to our bees). Whilst admiring our fruit bushes, I began to wonder why the ground beneath was 'moving'! Quickly I realised that it was in fact a mass of bees, clinging to the now broken off top of our small apple tree!! Needless to say, our swarm was quickly claimed, and we were glad to hand them over to a newly starting beekeeper!! We are ever obliging!!!!!
N.B. In above photo, swarm is under the box at the base of the tree in the foreground - above rhubarb leaves.
Steve hosted the day and took the group of beekeepers through the hives. Most of the group had never seen or looked inside a TBH and enjoyed seeing the bees making 'chains' to shape the comb. All our bees looked in good health and behaved themselves by having a mellow attitude!!
The hi-light of the afternoon was hearing new Queen bees 'pipe' in one of Tim and Julie's hives
Most people in the group managed to hear it and it was a most magical moment!!!
The afternoon was completed with tea served from our allotment shed and fine fruit-cake supplied by Julie.
All in all a most splendid day!!!

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