The old and the new
We are sad to report that our Queen-less colony did not make it, despite the help given by Gareth and the love and care, and feed, given by Harry and Melvin. On a much brighter note, Harry had a call from pestaker in Chedworth, Gloucestershire, to say that he had captured a swarm and had it in a box, ready for collection.
As Melvin was working, Harry picked up the box and single-handed, introduced our new bees to their new Warre hive home. He did this by gently shaking the bees into the pre-prepared hive, and then laying a sheet for the remainder to walk in at their leisure. Harry was so happy that things had gone so smoothly.
The new ‘Chedworth’ colony appear to be thriving and have, within 7 days already filled 7 bars of comb. The ‘Ducklington’ colony has expanded into a second box and as far as I can see they have already completed another four bars of comb. Even Kingham, our hive with the smallest number, have completed four bars now and are on a fifth. We are particularly happy about this, as we have been worried about this hive and we are much more hopeful now of their survival.
Melvin observed the bees for a long while yesterday and was delighted to see workers from all three hives coming back with a white pollen, which seems to show that there is a good amount of pollen around at the moment. We have a visit due from our friends at the Oxon. natural beekeeper’s group on September 1st. Weather permitting, we plan to do an inspection of the hives on this date.