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Vita Bee Health Global Honeybee Health Experts

Blog – bees, beekeeping & other sticky subjects

The empty cell

The  empty cell

The empty cell

Bees, huh! After yesterday’s activity around the queen cell in the observation hive, I said I expected the queen to emerge in the next few days. They thought otherwise and she emerged overnight — well, I think she did!

In any event her cell has now been largely dismantled. I haven’t managed to see her yet, but this afternoon there was quite a commotion in the hive for a while and I wonder if she has already made her first flaps in the outside world.

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

Paying right royal attention

IMG_4977The observation hive bees are paying great attention to their queen cell.

I think she is due to emerge in the next two or three days.

I think there is only one remaining queen cell in the hive, but this protectiveness is often seen to ensure that one queen does not emerge before another.

Meantime, the foragers in this small colony are very busy bringing in the nectar which is now in full flow.

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

The bees are back

IMG_2133-001The bees have returned to the office and are thriving as the summer nectar flow has just started.

They were dancing this morning and it seems that they have already found the lime tree blossom down by the chalk stream, just 200 metres away.

The colony (frames were selected from a queen-making colony)  is queenless, but initially they had two queen cells, one sealed, one unsealed, on which to build their future.

Within the first few hours after installation, the unsealed queen cell had been removed and the sealed queen cell ceremoniously stuck against the glass,

Unlike last year when the queen cells were well hidden, it shouldn’t be difficult to see when the queen has emerged.

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger


Bees with pretensions

Swarm with flightless queen clustering around a clutch of pheasant eggs

Swarm with flightless queen clustering around a clutch of pheasant eggs

After a two-week holiday, I arrived at one apiary over the weekend to find a cluster of bees on the long grass and brambles a few metres in front to one hive.

Since the queens were clipped, I suspected a swarm had emerged from one of the hives but was unable to fly without its queen.

But when I tried to find the queen to recover the swarm, I discovered that they had clustered around a clutch of pheasant eggs (it’s bird game country around here).

Perhaps the bees had grand ambitions to become birds — but surely that is underselling themselves?

I have no idea what became of the pheasant that was probably terrified out of its wits when the swarm descended. She hasn’t returned!

The swarm is now happy in its new hive although the queen proved very difficult to catch in the long grass and spiky bramble shoots.

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

Vita swarm lure in action in Greece

Here is a video in real time from a professional beekeeper in Greece who used Vita’s swarm lure hung in a olive tree to attract a swarm in very quick time!

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