Oxford Bees

Freedom Hives at Headington Hill Hall now occupied

Submitted by will on Thu, 25/05/2017 - 07:36

There are 2 Freedom Hives in the grounds of Headington Hill Hall. One is on a tripod next to the garden; the other is in a small section of woodland. Both are now occupied. I don't know whether the colonies found the hives on their own or were brought there.

The Freedom Hive mimics a log hive. It is a perpetual hive without frames. Human access is through the base but there is limited scope to intervene. In the event of them contracting a serious (notifiable) disease the colony would have to be destroyed. In all other situations they will just be left alone.

Robbing Bumbles

Submitted by will on Thu, 25/05/2017 - 07:35

A few days ago I saw a Bumblebee nosing around the entrance to Hive D. It was going in and coming back out again without being visibly challenged by the guard bees. I was surprised that a bee which is so obviously different to my eyes could be ignored by the guards.

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New swarms looking agreeably settled

Submitted by will on Sun, 21/05/2017 - 19:28

I opened all the hives today to look inside. Apart from the issues caused by queen exclusion, everything seems to be going well.

Hive G is building comb and looks healthy.

Hive F is building comb but still dropping lots of Varroa.

Hives C, D and E have space and show evidence of recent comb building.

They're all going well. I still see no evidence that any of these colonies swarmed to produce Hive G. I assume that it was a coincidence. That means that it has not come from an untreated colony.