I was down at the apiary on Saturday when one of the other beekeepers, John Chapple, mentioned that he had been left an answering phone message telling him that the roof of a hive on an allotment in Perivale had been knocked off, and its owner was on holiday. The message said the road name but it was a very long road and John was unsure where the entrance to the allotments would be. My iphone came in handy as I was able to look on the council website and find out exactly where the allotment was.
So three of us then went down to this allotment to put the roof back on (one to put the roof back on, the others to watch just in case). One of the houses nearby was having a barbecue so a delicious smell was in the air. All the locals must have been at this barbecue as the allotments were empty. We wandered around looking for someone to ask where the hive was, as it was a big site and there were plenty of places to hide a hive. After a week of rain the allotment was overflowing with life and the scarecrows had plenty to watch over. Huge tomatoes bulged inside greenhouses and plump blackberries hung glistening in the sun.
Eventually we found a lone man who was able to point us in the direction of the hives, which were under a big tree. Two big cats, one ginger, one tabby, scampered off as we approached. A sheltering fence had fallen down so we picked it back up and John placed the roof back on the hive. To my surprise the bees seemed fine and even good tempered despite all the heavy rain recently, and were busily flying in and out. They are tough little critters. I was impressed by a wasp trap attached to the hive which had what looked like at least 50 wasps inside.
Looking at my own hive this week, everything seemed fine. For some reason ladybirds seem to love the hive roof and there were about four or five of them plus ladybird larvae (which look really cool) on top – though only one a British ladybird and not an invader. I put a second tray of Apiguard anti-varroa treatment on and left them alone other than that. I took a pic of the apiary, my hive is the big one second from the right:
I love ladybird larvae! They do look really cool, you are right.