Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Selling and Relocating Hives???

So what was the reference to selling and relocating I hear you ask?  Well to cut a long (reasonably traumatic) story short I am moving back to the UK (Haslemere, in Surrey) to take up a position with the company I used to work for before I came out to the US.  It wasn’t an easy decision but I think it was the right one for us as a family and me professionally.

As a result I have been selling off my beehives and equipment.  Importation rules prohibit me from bringing back any equipment, so all that I have accumulated has to stay behind to be sold or given away.  But looking ahead and being positive about things, the good news is that I will once again be starting beekeeping from scratch, with new equipment (will I use Langstroth or shift to another type of hive…), with new bees (Apis Mellifera Mellifera perhaps?) and a whole new beekeeping calendar to learn!  I never kept bees in the UK so I have little appreciation of how different the seasons are; when the spring nectar flow starts, when I need to start building up hives and how different preparations for winter will be.  It will be very interesting that’s for sure!

And the news got better yesterday.  I remembered that the late father of one of my old school friends used to keep bees. So I dropped Howard a line and he said that he would let some of his Dad’s old pals know I was looking to start up in the UK.  I hope they will be able to help me adjust and perhaps even help me locate a suitable apiary!  I’m getting excited about keeping bees at home. I love new challenges!

Having said that I’ve sold, or passed on, my equipment I still actually intend to have a honey harvest just before I leave Kirkwood in July.  I’m not sure where, or how, I just know that I will be “supering up” this weekend and that any honey that is in the hives come the first week of July will be harvested and I will be passing out some leaving presents!!!  So get your jars ready!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Queens Released

I went around the three hives and released the queens this morning. All appear to be being accepted, so I took the tape off the plug and will go back in just over a week to see if they're laying.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Queens

It's Easter Sunday so the perfect time to install new queens. I got hold of four lovely Italians on Saturday and spent Friday preparing hives and splits for their arrival. Here they are...

I made a split from the single hive at the gardens; taking 4 frames of eggs, brood and pollen from the hive there and transferring it to a new single deep.

I took frames from the two strong hives in Ladue and put 4 into the weak hive there. I also killed off the ineffective queen in this hive. 

I relocated the weak hive I had at home to one of Jurgen's Ladue apiaries and added four frames of eggs, brood and pollen (from my Ladue hives) to this hive as well.

The final queen went to split a hive I sold to my friend Paul a week ago.

So the end result is....

No hives in my back garden.
Two hives at the Botanical Gardens. 
Three hives in Ladue; one requeened.
One hive to be sold to Jurgen and currently relocated to one of his Ladue apiaries.

Why selling and relocating hives?.... More on this later...