The past week’s weather has been causing me anxiety. Just as our new queen to replace the missing Rose was supposed to be out mating, vast quantities of rain and cloud fell on South-East England. Not just any rain, but the kind that soaks you in seconds. This weekend will have been the first chance our new queen has had to send some drones to a happy fall backwards.
We inspected yesterday but I’d forgotten to put the battery in my camera, so no pics. Left the hive which hopefully contains our new queen alone apart from giving them some feed. Checked on how Rosemary’s hive was doing at filling up their super. It’s very nearly full but not all the honey was capped yet. We hope to extract at least some on the first weekend of August, leave it in a settling tank for a few days then put into little tasting jars so we can give a taster to all the friends, family and workmates who are very eager to try some.
Some exciting things I’ve come across this week – Brookfield Farm’s blog post Grafting Honeybee Larvae to Make Queen Cells – great photos. And Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds film on the hidden world of the bees, both inside and outside the hive – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZEoAMfRICM.
I’ve been having great conversations with @Loiscarter and @kernowspringer (real name Sharon Spurling) about why our bees had chewed holes in the frames on the edges of their brood nest. Sharon said to me “maybe it’s when they can’t be bothered to draw wax, just nick it from the bit of the room no one will notice :D”
Having thought about it, this makes a lot of sense – they made five queen cells up in a hurry, we think because Rose had gone missing – so maybe they were nicking all that queen cell wax from the edges of the nest where it wasn’t needed so badly! Clever little things that they are.
Then @Loiscarter sent me a pic of what her bees get up to when they feel it’s time to have a mouse guard for winter to stop any pesky mice getting in. Her bees don’t hang about waiting for her to put one on. Instead they build their own… out of propolis. Incredible, right? Lois originally posted this at http://twitpic.com/5t1byf