New hive, new queen …


It’s been the most gorgeous sunny day and the apiary looks beautiful. The blossom is covering the trees, the sky is a brilliant blue, the ponds are alive with tadpoles and we have seen goldcrests for the first time in three years. Two of the bird boxes seem to be occupied and we can’t go in the shed as there is a robin sitting on a nest just by the door. Four eggs.

Now to my new colony – with Liz (pictured) in charge. I was really disappointed last week as I was so looking forward to enjoying my new bees. There should have been brood in different stages of development as well as honey and pollen (as per description), but this just wasn’t the case. The suppliers have assured me that I can have this nuc replaced or have my money back – but I don’t really want to to do either as the thought of a journey back to Banbury, a days round trip, is not appealing in the least.

I popped down to have a quick look midweek – and was pleasantly surprised as Liz was actually laying an egg when I first saw her. She seemed to have been fairly busy as there quite a few eggs and some very young larvae. The workers have started drawing out some foundation, but not as much as I had hoped. I have decided to leave it one week and make a decision then.

And now to Guinevere’s hive… which we left it with two sealed queen cells and no queen or eggs. One cell has now hatched and the other has been broken back completely. Exciting or what?! I closed it up again, fairly quickly, as I don’t want to disturb anything unnecessarily. The colony is weak, so I am not sure that even with a new queen it will pull through. I will try and be restrained for a while and just let nature take its course.

Its very different having more than one hive. You have to make sure you really keep on top of what’s going on. I’ve always keep notes, but it is easy to get confused unless you are pretty organised about it.

Note to self: Go in with a plan and be clear about what needs recording. Make notes as soon as possible.


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