Huge excitement. I have been to collect my over-wintered nuc from a farm in Oxfordshire. With my purchase securely parcelled up in a travelling box, I decided to make a small detour via Windsor as I needed another feeder. But the place was difficult to find, I got a little lost, and then I noticed a distinct buzzing in the back of the car. Then I saw why… There were half a dozen bees on the back window… and I still had to drive back to London. I stayed fairly calm but placed a thin sheet loosely over the top of the nuc just in case many more decided to go on their travels.
The lovely man at Thornes reassured me that it was only the small young bees that were able to squeeze through the mesh. They couldn’t fly nor sting and some were even going back into the box! So I set off again hoping that the M25 would keep moving. I managed to get home without further cause for concern.
I put the bees on top of the hive and left them to settle a while. Then the sun came out and it was reasonably warm and as the weather forecast for the next few days wasn’t good I thought it would be a sensible time to transfer them into the waiting hive. I did it fairly quickly and didn’t inspect the frames, but I did see the (Buckfast) queen – who shall be called Elizabeth. I gave them a feed, closed them up and left them a couple of days to settle before having a good look.
Sunday turned out to be the most beautiful warm spring day and I was really quite excited but also slightly nervous. It turned out to be with good reason – no eggs and no larvae – but a fair bit of capped brood. Obviously the queen might be a bit out of sorts after her travels and might not have started laying again yet, but I would have expected more brood to be there in the first place. I have since contacted the suppliers and they have reassured me that they will exchange them for another nuc if it doesn’t settle down – but that will mean a days round trip which I could do without. Why isn’t anything straightforward?
Then to my other disaster! They are bringing in lots of pollen and some of it is the most beautiful pale green – which I think might be flowering currant. (Bristol beekeepers website has a lovely pollen chart). Still no sign of Guinevere and still no eggs. But two sealed queen cells next door to each other on the face of one frame. I am not going worry about this hive any more, I am going to let nature take its course and see if one of these sealed cells might turn matters round. At least the weather has improved a bit…
Lesson to myself: Stay positive