Oxford Bees

C and D hives building comb; foraging. Confirmed Varroa in D hive

Submitted by will on Mon, 30/05/2016 - 18:26

I visited C and D in central Oxford today. Both hives are building comb. They were both very calm so I didn't need smoke. I just gently opened each hive up and took a look.

Neither hive have any brood yet, so there's no way to be sure whether they have AFB.

I didn't see the queens in either hive.

C Hive

C was populated before D. The bees are building in the super, which is unwelcome but expected. There is lots of new comb partially filled with honey. They've building toward the front of the hive (shown by the wax drop on the hive floor).

First Varroa drop in my new apairy

Submitted by will on Fri, 27/05/2016 - 17:20

I'd expected that the new bees would bring Varroa. Today I found a dead mite from the colony which I hived earlier this week. It was on the floor of their hive.

The feral colony from which both casts came has apparently been there for 3 years. Today I could see their entrance which had lots of activity. It would appear that they are very strong despite this infestation.

Another new swarm to collect

Submitted by will on Fri, 27/05/2016 - 17:20

I was called a second time to Risinghurst by Judith who gave me my first swarm to collect. The same feral colony had cast a second swarm.

This new swarm was in the neighbour's hedge. Again it was at a low height and very easy to collect. This time I made no mistakes collecting it and then tipped it into the brood box of the hive.

From getting the call to being back at my desk took 2hrs 15mins. Not bad for a swarm catch.