Fondant munchers

Mixed emotions at the apiary today. Happiness because my bees are doing well, sadness because we looked at more dead hives today.

Bear in mind that the last lot of fondant I put on took two months for my bees to eat, and now look what they did to the new fondant block in just two weeks:

fondant

They’re really going for it! And bringing lots of a light brown/grey biscuity pollen back:

Anyone know what this pollen might be?

Wikipedia has a pollen colour chart, check out this blue Siberian squill pollen:

Sadly one of the apiary beekeepers, Stan, discovered today that one of his two colonies had died. I never know what to say when someone loses their bees, it must be so disheartening after the hard work put in during the year. There was a lot of dysentery so nosema may be to blame. A beekeeper with a microscope at home took one of the pooey frames with him to analyse. There were plenty of stores and it was a big colony so it wasn’t starvation or cold that was to blame. Another beekeeper’s nucleus had been invaded by mice which had eaten the honey out of the frames, even though the entrance hole was tiny.

We’re going to be shook-swarming at the apiary next week if the weather’s warm enough, but it’s been so cold lately we may have to wait another week.

A final link: http://www.beesinfrance.com/2011/black-white-bees/ – these photos of a black & white French Ashy Mining Bee are stunning, I’ve never seen anything like her. We need to look after our solitary bees too!

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper living in Ealing, west London. I have been keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary since 2008 and created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully - future successes. Busy taking the British Beekeeping Association module exams too!
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2 Responses to Fondant munchers

  1. Oh gosh! That is so awful, it must be so devastating to lose your bees. I would be heart broken if mine died. I am checking on them tomorrow and have prepared liquid feed just in case they have run out of fondant. I have been building my bees a new hive today in preparation for the shook swarm. It is standing proudly in my living room now – brand new floor, brood, supers, frames and roof ready for a brand new beekeeping year!

    Great post as always Emily, I love the blue pollen!

    Like

    • Emily Heath says:

      Hi Emma,

      Yes I feel so sad for everyone who’s lost theirs this year, the losses seem to be higher than I remember last year. Well done for building the new hive on your own, your hammering arm must have been aching afterwards! Hope your bees appreciate the effort!

      Emily

      Like

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