Oxford Bees

C Hive

Cleaning out after a harvest

Submitted by will on Mon, 20/08/2018 - 20:00

I harvested a super of honey from Colony 1 a couple of weeks ago. I also had some uncapped honey in frames which had been Hive C containing Colony 11 before I went through all the complicated rearrangements.

The conventional view is that the bees will thoroughly and carefully clean comb if you put it on their hive. In my wisdom I found an exception to this view.

A final reorganisation for Colony 13

Submitted by will on Sun, 08/07/2018 - 08:23

This morning I worked on colony 13. I hope that this is the last time I have to make a significant reorganisation of their hive. I hope that I've corrected for the mistakes and difficulties which developed from having a nucleus roof with comb attached.

This is a summary of the colony before and after I did the work this morning:

An unpleasant lunchtime with Colony 11

Submitted by will on Mon, 18/06/2018 - 19:17

Colony 11 is complicated. I may have just made it better, or worse.

The colony was probably evicted from a roof in the Grandpont area of Oxford by building work. A member of my bee group said that the colony was too aggressive for a domestic garden so I gladly took them. They arrived in a nucleus box which had no frames.

Colony 11 still angry after its reorganisation yesterday

Submitted by will on Sun, 03/06/2018 - 19:44

I visited the apiary where Colony 11 is sited this evening. They are still angry 24 hours after I reorganised the hive in a failed attempt to extract the lid of a nucleus box. They bumped against head when I came within 5m. When I had my veil on and got closer they went into attack behaviour (high pitched buzzing; staying in one place on the veil; jabbing movements with their abdomens). I hope that they calm down and don't spend the season being angry.

An attempt to extract the nucleus lid from Hive C

Submitted by will on Sat, 02/06/2018 - 21:38

Colony 11 arrived in a nucleus box from a member of my bee keeping group. The box did not contain frames so the bees had started to build comb on the roof of the box. Today I tried to remove the box with mixed success.

Mission not accomplished. I now have a double height hive with the Queen in the top part.

When I received the nucleus box I took the bees out of the body of it and placed the roof on top of a Commercial hive body. The remaining space was packed with framed comb. The top was packed with a wooden board because the nuc' roof sat on top of the hive body.

Colony 11 Settled in Hive C

Submitted by will on Tue, 29/05/2018 - 21:27

I'm happy to say that my transfer of Colony 11 from its nucleus box to Hive C have been successful. There is pollen on the hive floor; debris from cleaning of the framed comb and evidence of new comb building. There was also lots of activity at the hive entrance.

The less welcome news is that the comb building is happening beneath the nuc' box lid. I had hoped that they would move onto the framed comb and leave the lid area alone. That hasn't happened so I'll have to do something a bit more destructive to sort the hive out so that it has only framed comb in it.

A complicated arrangement for Colony 11

Submitted by will on Thu, 24/05/2018 - 14:09

At lunchtime today I successfully removed the nucleus body which Colony 11 had travelled in.

They had almost all moved down into the hive body but there were now several entrances. I removed the nuc' body and arranged it so that it is part of the hive roof. The area of the hive body not covered by the roof is packed out with wood. A regular lid is on top of that

Colony 11 arrives in a Nucleus

Submitted by will on Thu, 24/05/2018 - 06:50

Colony 11 appears to be a feral colony which was forced out of a roof by building work. It was collected by a member of my bee group and put into a nucleus box. Unfortunately the colony was behaving very aggressively so she gave it up.

I collected the colony last night in its nuc' box. As I gently wheeled it on the back of my bike I could smell the alarm pheromones coming from the ventilation on the top of the box.

When I arrived at my out-apiary I moved the hive box from the stand where Hive C was positioned. I then placed the nuc' on top and went home.

Colony 10 has absconded

Submitted by will on Thu, 10/05/2018 - 06:57

It would appear that the hive which I put Colony 10 into didn't suit them. I checked this morning and they've left.

This isn't a big surprise. Swarms can be actively looking for sites even after they're put into hives. I did open the hive the day after I put them in and saw them mostly stuck to the hive wall. That suggested that they hadn't accepted the hive. I don't know why they didn't like it.

This morning there were 3 or 4 groggy and cold bees still there but it was otherwise empty. I think they may be scouts which were still out when the swarm left.