Adding living areas
Last week Harry used his ‘o’ level woodwork skills to prepare further living accommodation for the colonies in the langstroth hives. Harry had ordered and received 3 basic langstroth kits and we perused how the parts could be best used to help our existing langstroth colonies.
The swarm that had been captured in Fulbrook by the church were first to receive our attention. Harry hefted the existing two boxes, whilst Melvin inserted one fully prepared brood box and another which the bees will, we hope, use as storage. On hefting the hive, Harry was amazed at the weight of it, and this was due to the prolific nature of the new colony, as they had very quickly built brood and stores in the three boxes.
Harry certainly needed a rest after this procedure and it shows that there is a very physical nature involved with hive maintenance. In regards to the ‘Church swarm’ this also indicates that we have a very fertile Queen in this colony. We then added boxes to the ‘shed’ langstroth colony and the other langstroth colony, which were both casts from our existing warre colonies. We checked all six colonies today and we are quite pleased with all of them.
The Ducklington Warre colony has almost totally filled four boxes with stores and brood, which gives us a decision to make. Do we allow them to possibly storm, as their numbers reach capacity, or do we take a box from the less than prolific Kingham Colony? We believe that the Kingham colony swarmed and it would appear that the new Queen may not be that strong. One major problem here, is that manually hefting of four boxes, in order to be able to insert a fifth, may well put Harry into hospital for a period of time. Food for thought. All the other colonies appear to be doing very well indeed.
We just want to thank Shadiya for her hospitality in hosting the most recent meeting of the Oxford natural beekeepers group at her ‘communal farm’ in Boars Hill, Oxford. A very relaxing and informative time was had by all.