Oxford Bees

April build up

Submitted by will on Sat, 08/04/2017 - 13:07

I visited the out-apiary today and opened the 3 hives there. There is evidence of brood, new comb and stores in all of them. There's evidence of a nectar flow, which isn't much of a surprise given that Oxford is swathed in spring blossoms.

Hive B is still relatively small but ticking along nicely. There are plenty of stores and reasonable coverage of brood. I haven't added space because there are empty frames in the brood area.

How wax moth might benefit a hive

Submitted by will on Sun, 02/04/2017 - 22:03

I saw a quite large number of wax moth cocoons during the extraction of the feral bee colony in South Leigh. Paul and I were talking about what happens to very old comb. He says that the bees eventually cut the old comb and let it fall. It occurred to me that cavities must eventually become clogged with sections of old comb, unless something else eats it. One candidate would be wax moth.

If wax moths operate around the edge of colonies and in its litter then perhaps they provide some service to the bees, rather than simply being a pest.

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Feral Bee Extraction

Submitted by will on Sun, 02/04/2017 - 19:16

I joined my local bee group on Saturday 1st April for some demolition work. A feral colony had established in the space between 2 walls where a window had been bricked up.

The day was quite hard work but very interesting. At the end of it we had a Warre hive with some brood; plenty of bees and maybe a queen. We never found her so we can't be sure until the hive settles down.

It was a lot harder work than taking a swarm. I wonder whether it wouldn't have been better to make them voluntarily vacate the space. Maybe smoke and heat would make them abscond?