Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring in the beehive

With all these fantastic spring flowers, things have been really active in the beehive too.
I had one family (from two) survive from last year, and that family has been going strong. A couple of weeks ago i put the melario on (aka the honey super)

Sadly though it hasn't seen any action yet, and I was concerned about a lack of bees in it. opening up the hive it looks as though the queen isn't around, I can't see any sign of her. I can't tell though if bee numbers are down, indicating a swarm, or if she's died. There was a good size queen cell, so she'll be replaced soon enough, but not great for honey production.

Then my two new families arrived, thousands of new pointy little babies!
Lulu helping with the new bees

The families arrive in these white styrafoam travelling boxes and after a couple of days settling in they get transferred to their permanent wooden homes.
A travelling box next to the other beehives
The smoker helps keep them calm
The wooden hive must be in exactly the same position as the travelling box was, or the bees get confused about which house is theirs.
settling in

see how they stick their butts in the air and beat their wings? This spreads the message to their sisters that this is their new home. 
Here they are, all home and hopefully happy.
I'm hoping for a decent honey haul this year, the new families need to fill the hive with baby bees first, then they get their melario. They should be happy. They have a lovely view of the valley and are surrounded by flowers. It's hard to hug a bee, but these are my pets!

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