After a few chilly days, most of the ice was melted by this afternoon and so I drove over the ridge to Berwick where I have an apiary in a cider orchard opposite the Manor. I have 2 hives there, the first being a TBH designed and made by my friend Steve who has recently moved to Cornwall. He and his missus, Gill, didn’t have much success with it so I have modified it by creating an entrance at the end and blocking off the side entrance. I stocked it with a few bars from my TBH down the road at Ourganics.
This year having been chaotic, I haven’t been able to play with my bees nearly as often as normally I would do but the bees have managed very well without me. There were 7 seams of bees towards the front of the hive and so I applied 35cc of oxalic acid solution.
To the rear of the currently active part of the hive are several full combs promising a harvest at dandelion/willow time. It looks like ivy honey which is one of my favourites.
The other hive came from my garden, which, being on one of Roger Patterson’s ley lines, tends to gather stray swarms. These must have been established for some weeks before I noticed their activity in a random stack of spare kit as they had drawn wild comb higgledy piggledly from the roof. It took two of us to tape and strap it up and move it to Berwick. When they had settled I applied a cheesewire below the eke under the roof and sat them on a brood box of standard frames, adding a Queen excluder between when I thought the queen would have gone down.
I don’t think she can have gone down! The eke was crammed with bees! I haven’t seen as many since midsummer! Hastily I squirted a full 40cc of oxalic over the mass of bees and gently closed up.
I still have a few more to do and maybe apprentices’ bees also.