Entries by Susanne Mason

Our first honey

Bee happy! 28th July 2016:   A sight to bring a smile on anybody’s face. So exciting. It is really our own, very first harvest of honey, in our first year of hard work in the apiary. Full, sweetly fragrant frames, ready for extraction. I am now busy working out an enticing and unique design for […]

Collecting swarm at 10 Acres on 21st July 2016

A call was received in the late afternoon that a swarm had appeared in a tree. We, the Swarmbusters Susanne, Brian, Peter and Michele) immediately sprang into action. Ready in seconds, all tooled up we drove there, and inspected the location.             OMG! …that was a huge swarm ensconced in […]

Cooling beehive Today we noticed an unusual bee behaviour. It looked like this: – The bees were stationary, all aligned with their heads pointing to the entrance. On very close observation we could see that they were all fanning with their wings. This was very necessary as the temperature at the hive was like this: […]

Requeening, a new experience!

2 weeks ago we were invited to a requeening party. Two colonies had lost their queens and 2 new queens ( Buckfast strain) were delivered in their own private cages with a few nurses. A candy plug was attached at one end which they would chew through in a couple of days during which the […]

They don’t always follow the book…

Our beekeeping season 2016 so far Our two G-colonies overwintered very well. One had one brood box, the other one had two, as we merged a queen-right colony with a queenless one in autumn last year. In April we split the 2-broodbox hive. As we didn’t find the queen, it was a bit trial and […]

Demo Beehive, Scarecrow Day 17 July

Demo Beehive, Scarecrow Day 17 July Explore the Demo Behive on 17 July, Trunch Scarecrow Festival! Master beekeeper John Everett will show and explain fascinating facts about our honey bees. Watch busy bees building combs, discover the queen bee laying eggs, and get some of John’s own delicious honey. Location of the demo beehive: Glebe […]

‘Queen Substance’, the pheromone attracting drones

‘Queen Substance’, the pheromone attracting drones (The Telegraph) Until the 1950s, what causes the workers to produce a new queen to replace one which is failing, or has been lost, was a mystery. As any beekeeper will know, when a queen is removed from a colony the behaviour of workers changes from a state of […]

Hygienic Behaviour & Clustering in Autumn

(from: http://www.backyardbees.ca/user_files/winterizationGuide.pdf) In the spring and in the fall, the beehive will engage in fervour for cleaning the beehive. This is because the bees in the hive, throughout the winter, move slowly to maintain energy and are incapable of breaking cluster to tidy up the hive, making them particularly susceptible to disease and stress. So, by […]

Brood Nest Size in Autumn

(from: http://www.backyardbees.ca/user_files/winterizationGuide.pdf) As the sunlight hours diminish in the fall, and the quantities of nectar and pollen coming in to the hive decrease, these factors become clues for the queen to decrease the quantity of eggs she lays. The decreased size of brood nest allows for the populations of the beehive to slowly diminish in to the […]