I went to see Faith, my last remaining hive at the weekend. All was not well. The bees were buzzing and bringing in nectar and pollen – but there was no sign of a queen or recently laid eggs. And only two frames of brood. Exactly this happened to two of my hives last year. The weather has been very warm – and I put a pot of honey in the top of the hive last weekend to make sure there was enough food and a stiumulus for the queen to lay.
The good news is that next weekend I am going to collect two new colonies – so hopefully can put a frame of eggs into the hive and develop a new queen…..unless there is a new mystery queen who has not mated yet.
Strange happenings in the bee world at the moment……and not very good for this year’s honey production as there should be six or eight frames of brood by this time.
I put myself on the local swarm catchers list last year and have had three people ask about how to remove bees from their chimneys in recent weeks. A friend called Malcolm also asked me today for honey for his new bride – who comes from Russia. She does not like the honey that is sold in the supermarkets. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of honey left over from last year – so suggested he find a more local beekeper to where he lives.