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Our Apiary – Seven Hives

Sunday 30h June – 7-hive apiary

Seven Hives at the Stinsford Apiary
Site view at Stinsford Apiary

Due to all our various ‘splits’ and setting up of Nucs that we have done in the last 2 months, we now have 7 colonies. If you remember back we started the year with just 3 colonies and one of those we thought we might lose.

The last time we were here 2 weeks ago, we had 3 colonies with virgin queens. Today we saw all 3 queens.

We marked 2 as they have been mated but left one which may be a drone layer.

Hive 1: We saw some nice brood & eggs and then saw the Queen. As we know she is mated we marked her. They have one super about half full with stores.

In Hive 2, (CBPV hive) The colony is still on the small size (only 4 frames of brood) but they seemed less flighty than last week and still progressing on.

Hive 3, 3a and the Nuc.

Hive 3: She has already got a marked Queen and is doing well.

The Nuc: We saw brood there but it is drone brood. We didn’t see the Queen despite shaking all the bees onto a board out the front and running them back in. Until we can see her and cage her we can’t unite the colony with another. As all the frames with brood are shallow frames, we moved them into a super and took away the Nuc.

Hive 3a: The virgin that we saw 2 weeks ago has mated as there were eggs and larvae. So we marked the Queen. Bringing in plenty of stores.

In the WBC we found the Queen and plenty of eggs. Some lovely patches of brood. They had 2 supers on nearly full but not fully capped so added another super.

In WBC 2 we saw a Queen. She looked mated but didn’t want to mark her until we are sure she has been properly mated. They also had a super nearly full but not capped.

So, the only failure we have had is the Nuc where we are sure the Queen is a drone layer. We have 3 new young Queens so we have the possibility of uniting colonies to make use of them and have strong colonies to go through the winter.

By the side of the apiary, the other half of the field has been left to grow wild and is now covered with a wonderful crop of thistles.

View of the forage near the Apiary
View of the forage at the Stinsford Apiary

Not only were our bees taking advantage of this but also bumble bees and a lot of other insects that I couldn’t identify. The ‘buzzing’ noise was quite noticeable as was the amount of insects and bees in the air.

It will be interesting to see what the honey tastes like.

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