Bee hive update

The overwintered nucleus is about month ahead of the swarm control nuc.  

The former has a fully built out brood colony and a lot - a serious lot - of bees in the hive and has filled out four of the ten super frames full of honey. Come on this weather. They have not capped the honey yet as they let it evaporate to the right consistency first. So I can see it shining in the cells. By next week or the week after I may have to put on a second super...blimey that’s fast work.

the latter is a bit of a worry. They are a smaller colony and clearly she is a weaker queen and not producing at the speed of the other one. They are still only building their brood out and have not laid down any food in the super frames. They have capped honey in the brood chamber so they know what they are doing. the amount of capped brood is much less than the more established colony. 

That is all to be expected given the stages they were at when I put them in. Fingers crossed they get good weather and nectar flow for a couple of months. 

Do you think it helps to have giant weirdy men thingies peering at them all the time?...

there is a jok3 there I shall not make

*can u whitw night when it isnt your joke**?

** fuck this cracked screen***

*** ducz that was not an invitation.****

****u are a bit lmc for the nice area of your county of domicile.*****

***** i was just happily looking at the bees on the lavendar and one of the scary fat fuckets (typo nyoted but new word adopted)

 

I refuse to believe wang isn't drinking at the moment

We extracted some honey from one of the frames in Spain... was lovely and more subtle than shop bought stuff. I love the way all the bees come back to tidy up the leftovers afterwards!

generally the honey bees don't bother with the lavender. It is much loved by the bumble bees and hoverflies though.  At the moment the honey bees are enjoying the blue geranium cups.

Meh

when every I extract they find me and start dipping in to recover their hard work. I feel guilty when this occurs.  Each one lands with a "what the fuck are you doing? This is ours" look on her little face.

I think because all the windows are covered in mozzy mesh they can't get in so they left the honey alone. When the mostly empty frame was set outside they got bzzzy.

??? you make my point nicely. That pic shows a solitary bee (bumble). Not a honey bee.

"Honeybees and bumblebees together comprised the majority (mean 90%, range 73–97%) of flower‐visitors on Lavandula varieties. The number of honeybees, as a proportion of honeybees and bumblebees together, varied considerably among varieties (range 11–55%)"

They just aren't touching my L Hidcote or Munstead which are in full bloom. I accept that this is not science. You are no doubt correct and I am reporting anomalous behaviour.

Could beeeeeee..

 

Or maybe they just prefer another plant.  Trouble with Lavender is that it is very low on nectar.  It's a very dry flower with a lot of essential oil in it.  In my garden they are all over the sage flowers, chive heads, border geranium and the hedges where the brambles are now in full flower.

Borage.

Yes, they do like borage.

They also like some blue thistles I have

​​​​​​by way if completely anecdotal observation I have “ learned” that what they like most are the flowers of English herbs, grow an extra pot you dont mind going to seed.

The light rain will have caused them inconvenience yesterday as they don’t like flying in the rain. It uses far more energy as they cool down and cool the brood when loads of wet bees return to the frames and the cost benefit of collection starts to shift. So they stay inside. As a result they were really busy yesterday evening when the rain had finished.

but the rain also refreshes the flowering plants and increases growth and the lack of it today sees flowers opening and the flow of nectar increasing. The water in the system decreases the viscosity of nectar today, so they are out there doubling up on collection and making up for a poor day yesterday.

Everything is connected and all environmental events are systematic. Fluctuations in the hydrological cycle impact (negatively and positively) the behaviour of our insect friends. Ultimately nature is one huge closed system. 

One colony has made a lot of honey but it is all open and uncapped meaning it is too liquid to seal. They wait for evaporation to increase viscosity before they wax cap it. Only they know the recipe and timing. If I take a super frame out and hold it in the sun, there are hundreds of amber diamonds sparkling at me.