Oxford Bees

A tall storey

Submitted by will on Wed, 19/04/2017 - 15:03

Hive A is a little embarrassing. It got too tall. I over wintered it with a National deep box and five supers. There were reasons, of course. Now has come the time to reduce it to a sensible height.

A little about those reasons first.

Wonky Comb

Submitted by will on Wed, 19/04/2017 - 14:16

I stopped putting foundation in my hives a while ago (see Frames without foundation). Foundation seems unnecessary to the low intervention bee keeper. Its principal benefit is to make extraction and inspection easier. I outlined in the article how shallow frames can be extracted without wired foundation. Inspection is also much the same. You just have to be slower and more gentle.

Unwanted visitors

Submitted by will on Wed, 19/04/2017 - 14:05

I took the roof off Hive E today. This is the late swarm from 2016 which is housed in a small derelict greenhouse.

I had put an insulating box between the brood box and the roof. I'd seen ants going up and down the hive. What I hadn't expected was that the ants had set up a nest in the insulated roof. There were lots of black ants, some eggs and a few immature grubs.

I can see now that the insulated roof would be ideal for an ant nest. Defensible; warm, well ventilated and with an immense food store nearby.