A visit from my bee group

Submitted by will on Sun, 07/30/2017 - 16:38

Last weekend my bee group visited my out-apiary in Oxford.

It was a small gathering - 8 people. It might have been larger if I hadn't promised an Attack of the Killer Bees to all who ventured onto the roof. Hive E had been very stressed and its' aggression was difficult to handle.

On the day all the bees were very calm. I don't exactly know why. I think that the June nectar gap may have contributed. My interventions might also have been at fault.


Hive H showing very low Varroa drop

Submitted by will on Sun, 07/09/2017 - 19:44

I moved Hive H from my garden to my out-apiary on Friday 30th June. I looked at the removable floor today and found 1 Varroa mite. Just 1 in 8 days. Compare that to Hive H which was dropping 20 per day as a new swarm.

The colony in Hive H has been feral for some time. The colony in Hive F had been a standard bought Buckfast queen 2 or 3 years ago. It's possible that the feral colony is adapting to Varroa and has managed to limit its' numbers. The mite is still present - it's endemic and won't now go away.

I'll see how Hive H fares as it settles in.

You should sell this: Bees as pets

Submitted by will on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 21:25

It's a familiar and honest complement: "you should sell this". I've heard it several times lately about the honey from my bees. I'm not keen. I like giving it away. That makes people happy in a way that buying it would not. And anyway, Bees can be excellent pets.

Bees mostly look after themselves. They feed themselves; clean up after themselves; take themselves for exercise. They're cheap to to look after once you have a hive and some equipment. They sometimes have surplus honey and it tastes fabulous.