In my post a couple of weeks ago, ‘What the bees have been up to‘, I mentioned leaving Hope’s nucleus hive with some fondant and pollen in the eke, with the expectation that they would build a little comb up top in the extra space. This is what the hive looked like when I left:
This is what it looked like a week later:
Fondant all eaten and a new loft conversion/small city up top! So they built a little more than I expected. When I got home two weeks ago it occurred to me that I could have put some insulation in to fill the extra gap and stop the bees building. These bright ideas always come once I get home. Which would be fine if the bees were at the bottom of the garden, but with them being around an hour away by public transport it’s not so easy to carry out these little fixes.
I spent some time carefully transferring Hope and her colony into a full-sized hive. It was quite a delicate job to remove the soft brace comb without squashing or angering any bees. Once removed, I put the comb up above the crown board; by this weekend all the bees had left it so I was able to share a bit of hive-warm honey with some other beekeepers. We sucked its fragrant floral sweetness out of the chewy comb, cleaning our sticky hands afterwards with wipes.
Emma has an update this weekend on her blog on how Hope and Patience’s bees are getting on – Springing to life. We were able to do our first inspection of 2017 inside Patience’s large hive.
I will leave you with a few pictures of Thomas Bickerdike’s hives at the local allotment where I used to keep some bees too. We have had some beautiful sunny days recently which really show off the spring blossom.
Tom has built this solitary bee palace on the allotment too, so it is really a bee haven. Surely some bees, wasps and other insects will be tempted by this magnificent home.
Seeing the spring blossom reminds me of baby Tommy’s first few weeks last April. As I pushed him around flat in his pram, his hands often thrown above his head in slumber, white and pink blossom petals swirled all around us. We have survived the past year together and once again I am pushing him around under blossom, only now he is bigger and sitting upright to face the world. Happy 1st birthday baby Tommy.