Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire

May - update from the hives

Its been a really eventful month in which the highlights have been

  • production of many queen cells
  • attempting to artificial swarm but messing up the timings
  • swarming and loss of both original queens
  • painful waiting for the hives to hatch queen cells and requeen
  • queen cells hatching but after two weeks still no signs of laying in 3 out of four hives.

So, a month on from the first sight of queen cells, we finally have one new and very productive queen. On the other hives it looks fairly desperate;  all the brood has hatched, the bee numbers  are beginning to drop and the drones are pillaging the honey stores.

In an attempt to salvage something we have merged two of  the others back together and added a frame of eggs to see if there is a maiden queen or if they start to develop queen cells.  I am not sure they have time to grow a new queen from scratch we so we will also consider buying one once we see what they do.

This is definitely not as easy as it sounds in the books!