Copper Bee Apiary

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

Easy come, easy go

Hives in the orchard

Queen Lois is lost to the North wind. It blew through on Wednesday, the sole day available to me for beekeeping, so that instead of visiting the bees in the orchard I spent the day at home wrapped up in two jumpers. And so I missed the chance to interrupt swarm preparations in Queen Lois's colony. When I at last went to see them today, they were much depleted in bees, and She was gone. Yesterday is my guess. There were lots of eggs, so she was there recently, but two queen cells had already been sealed.

She is not my only lost queen. Queen Nefertiti did not survive transport home. Her small colony, now weak, are trying to raise an emergency queen.

Well, I came home from the orchard after discovering the loss of Queen Lois, and after a few cups of tea I went down to the summerhouse to put away my bee kit. But I stopped in my tracks when I saw this:

Bees in my new bait hive. They weren't there this morning! I only set up that box a few days ago, and hadn't even seen scouts looking at it. The swarm must have arrived while I was out.

So I started May with 3 queens, lost one, gained a swarm, lost a swarm, and gained another swarm. I hope you are keeping up.

Writings, images and sound recordings are by the beekeeper unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Logo artwork © 2015-2019 Susan Harnicar Jackson. All rights reserved.