Checking the bees

22.08   1

After some awful weather I nipped out between showers to check the varroa drop on my hives. Having put the treatment on I have to regularly pull out the bottom boards and see how many on the tiny little mites have fallen from the bees. Now some beekeepers carefully count each one but I’m afraid I’m to impatient for that so I just have a skim over the board counting roughly as I go. This year is as expected with a low drop on the hive that came from a swarm, a bit higher on the one I artificially swarmed myself and a really big count on the hive that has gone through the summer on last years queen. This one has been a huge hive with well in excess of 100,000 bees for most of the summer (I’m guessing, I don’t count the varroa and I certainly don’t count the bees!) At times I had considered splitting it but with all my equipment in use I just didn’t have the space.

Anyway here they are at their winter holiday home. The farmer has put in a wildlife corridor and they seem to be loving it with lots of fresh honey just waiting to ripen for their winter stores.22.08   6

The flowers at the moment are phacelia and a little white one I don’t recognise22.08   8and some lovely stocky sunflowers that are just starting to open.22.08   5  22.08   3

The bees are very happy although the swarm still don’t seem so used to being handled and meet me at the car to dive bomb my head as I approach. They seem to be able to control the urge to sting, perhaps they are just being friendly!!!

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