Sunday, February 28, 2016

My New Hives Are Ready!

It's been a frantic recent period, but I've finally managed to obtain some more hive equipment and I feel reasonably confident that I'm ready for the spring and what the bees can throw at me.  

I am now in a position to be able to cope with making increases and even housing the odd swarm.  I now have enough two hives comprising 2 deeps and supers, and one with a single deep and 2 supers.  I therefore have a spare hive!

I bought the boxes (all nationals) is off eBay, all fully assembled.  I've not done this before and my experience was nothing short of exvellent. The boxes are of good quality cedar, solidly put together, very reasonable and they were dispatched rapidly.  I would recommend the supplier to anyone.

I have also managed to do a brief inspection of the hives.  The brood I found isn't quite as far advanced as I was expecting, given all I've been reading online, which is a relief, so perhaps Spring isn't quite as advanced as it appears.  Anyway, I had a chat with a beekeeper I bumped into on a walk on Friday (near Balls Cross - see below) and she pretty much is experiencing what I am.  It's nice to have some independent confirmation of the situation!

So I reorganised the hives.  There were a lot of stores still in the deeps and also in the supers that I left in place, so I added second deeps and moved the supers to the top of the hives.  They now have more space to move into as and when they need to.

The bees were quite placid, even the "strong" hive that has been a bit aggressive.  These bees were not quite agitated but we're in my face without stinging me.  But they remained calm and I was in and out quickly on a cool day - pleased with that too!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016

New hive on the way!

Finally, after much prevarication and comparison of prices online I jumped in and bought a new hive.

For the first time ever (yes really) I purchased an assembled hive.  Not only that, I found it on eBay which is definitely not my usual source of equipment.   I normally go for flat pack equipment direct from a known manufacturer.  However, this looks a good deal and I'm prepared to give it a try.

Once it arrives I'll update you all on what I found.  If this proves a successful approach I'll probably buy another.  Anyway, the first hive is to rehouse the bees that are currently squatting in one of Dave's hives, as that will free up some space for us to do some swarm control later in the spring (although right now how soon that is, is anyone's guess - it's so mild).

The possible second hive will be either for my start at home or a start at another location that is close home. I've not firmed up on either option.

Slowly slowly, I'm building...