Attended the beekeeping demo at KCBG. Unfortunately, weather was still too cold
for a deep hive inspection, but we learnt about the different types of feeders and
how to feed syrup during Spring time.
Found the instructions (on the National Bee Unit website) for making a Miller feeder
similar to “M’s”. Click here to download the info.
Checked on my bees to top them up with syrup feed and noticed that there were a huge
number of bees around Sharon’s hive. “M” had checked the previous day and about
7 frames had brood. Time for a Demaree he thinks….. That is planned for next weekend,
I can’t wait.
Could not watch Sharon’s Demaree, but M informed me they had managed to put a super
on. They saw the Queen although, weather was still a little cold for taking her
out to mark her.
Am not sure where to start - amazing afternoon, weather up to 18oC in the shade,
bees happily flying everywhere. “M”, my reluctant hubby and myself, managed to do
a deep hive inspection and moved the frames into the new hive. First, we moved the
old hive to one side, and put the new empty hive (floor and brood box) in it’s place.
Took each frame in turn carefully looking for the Queen so that we could mark her,
each time I checked the frame, I put it into the new brood box. I used manipulation
cloths to cover both brood boxes whilst we worked, so that the bees could be kept
cosy and calm.
Found the Queen about 7 frames in, “M” with his trained eye, spotted her first. He
used a device to pick her up (to be honest, it looked like a glass pipe with a spout
at one end - not sure where “M” got this from, but I can only assume it came from
his younger days - “Honest officer, I use it for beekeeping” ;-) We transferred
the Queen into the Queen plunger and very gently, moved her to the top of the cage
- I left “M” to gently mark her with the blue paint I had (looks like nail polish
but only £1 from Thorne’s). He gently marked her just behind her head and was careful
not to overdo it with the paint.
Once marked, we made a gap between the frames in the new box, where we found the
Queen. “M” very carefully, left the container (minus plunger) on top of one of the
frames (with manipulation cloth on top in case she flew away). We kept checking
every few minutes and eventually, she had left the container and (hopefully) joined
the rest of the colony, unless she escaped without us noticing. I keep my fingers
crossed until I check next week (possibly need to do a Demaree). After that, a Queen
excluder went on top of the brood box, and we put a super on top, with crown board
and roof. Job well done.