Copper Bee Apiary

A garden apiary in Whittlesford, Cambridge, UK - honey bees and their beekeeper Hilary van der Hoff.

Mini-update on the Disc Hive

I've been visiting the Disc Hive at the farm from time to time. I'm pleased to report that it has not been knocked over by wildebeest. However, Queen Irene's colony are a defensive bunch. The eldest bees in this colony will pre-date Queen Irene, as they will be daughters of the previous queen, Queen Honey. It may be that it is these elder bees who are the defensive ones, in which case the mood of the colony may change over the next few weeks as these workers die off and are replaced by Queen Irene's daughters, if those bees have a mellower temperament. But my hopes are not high. I fear Queen Irene's daughters will be little better.

I have taken honey from the Disc Hive, and it was similar to the honeys from the hives at the home apiary - unsurprising since most of it would have been made by the bees in their previous location before the move. It will be interesting to see how the honey they are now working on, which will be made from nectar they collect from the surrounding fields, compares with the honey from the hives at home.

As you may be able to see from the photographs above, I have written on the super "CuBA 1". This is done by burning the wood with a pyrography pen. The numbering of the supers is to help me track which super was put on which hive and when, as I can make a note of the super number in my records. It may also be a useful security feature, akin to marking valuables with a post code, as a deterrent to theft and/or to assist recovery. Though the Disc Hive occupants seem quite capable of deterring potential thieves by themselves, with their host of determined guard bees.

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