We have an additional hive of bees with us at Flixton, they are on holiday while their keeper, Hugh (a Bungay Bee Group member), has the ‘oh so onerous’ task of visiting Southern Africa during our winter months. The super-duper looking hive complete with sloping roof and landing board makes Betty and Frank look like dowdy cousins! To reflect her poshness the new hive is called Edith.
Edith arrived on Saturday to a small but keen welcome committee. Unfortunately the bees weren’t particularly happy about the relocation process and a few escapees made their feelings clear by giving Hugh some more stings to add to his not inconsiderable collection (As an aside – Gemma also discovered to Hugh’s cost that it is almost impossible to remove a sting whilst wearing leather gauntlets, rather, it just gets mushed in whilst continuing to cause pain).
We also had a look in the Betty and Frank Hives to see what was happening. After we thought the blue marked Queen in Betty had made her way to bee heaven she was spotted wandering around full of life. So, are there two Queens laying – Bluey and an inexperienced one, or has Bluey been having a funny 5 minutes and laying more than one egg in a cell? This hive appears to be getting less docile and are still creating Queen cells like mad, two with eggs in and one with larvae. We squidged all but two Queen cells and will wait to see what happens next time. As it is getting towards the end of the bee year we will probably try to overwinter Bluey and decide whether or not to cull her next Spring.
Frank Hive continues to plod along with eggs present but yet again no Queen spotted, perhaps the blue paint has been licked off making her more difficult to find as she is quite small for a Queen.
Superhive at Barsham had drawn out another comb in the super box and is filling it with nectar/honey. Eggs were present, although fewer than last time. I forgot to take the plastic spacers with me so we were unable to swap the castellated super for an uncastellated one in our ‘brood and a half’ system. It’s really difficult to lift the frames for viewing when you can’t create any space by sliding them along, we tend to work in a pair – lifting one out each in turn, but it isn’t ideal.