Photos by Nick Thorp.
Checking the hive today and discussing on what to do with drone
comb and drone layers
This frame has been damaged in the past and the workers have
repaired it by making drone comb, an easy fix is to move it to the
outermost position in the brood box so the workers will fill it
with honey, rather than raising more drones.
Rogue comb being built on the bottom of a frame thats too small
(providing a bee space thats too big) Ideally the bee space should
be 6mm, checking boxes and frames in the assembly phase can
alleviate a lot of problems later on.
Here is a specimen Graeme brought along for everyone to see. A
drone laying queen, or a laying worker will cause lots of problems
The only practical way to "fix" it is to add a strong nuc on the
top of the hive. Requeening will fail as the hive will have, or
think they have, a queen and will kill a new cell. Laying workers
put eggs on the cell sides as their abdomens are not long enough
to reach the bottom. Notice multiple eggs and grubs in each cell,
obvious problems arise during larvae development.
Today the club hives were checked for swarm cells, general hive
health and Graeme also discussed queen grafting.
Checking the bottom bars for swarm cells.
High numbers of drone cells can indicate a desire to swarm.
Two queen cups without anything in them, at this time of year
its safer to break them down.
The Queen that was placed in the hive last autumn, going strong
with egg laying
Patchy brood from the old queen in the top box of the double hive.
An egg, lower left. A "c" shaped larvae in the centre and a larvae
perfect for grafting, slightly up and right of centre.
Practicing using a grafting tool.
A grub thats a little too big for the ideal graft, on the end of a
A hive made queen cell, with its new queen-to-be grub, or
not to be in this case, in royal jelly
Wrapping up the day and having a quick look at the queen cell
Thanks to everyone who came along today, great to see so many new
July construction day.
Olly and Nick opened up their workshops for members to come and
assemble or make woodware, quite a successful day recycling
pallets into hive components.
Nicks messy workshop, still quite productive though.
Putting frames together for the boxes already assembled.
June honey tasting day.
By all accounts the day went well, quite a few people braved
the cold and came to Olly's place to share recipes and their
favorite honey of the season. Sorry no photo's guys.
May 2014 Hive Day at Allan's place.
Allan removing the insulation layer from under the hive lid
After removing the spacer which stops the hive getting totally
packed, we could see inside.
Allan inspects the condition of the brood and food stores.
The first hive we looked at was nice and docile, notice the
frame standing on bricks to allow more room for working the
But not the second, they got quite upset and most people viewed
from a distance.
All a buzz
Thanks to all those who came round on this lovely Autumn day, and
to Allan for being the host.
April 2014 Hive Day
A healthy bee (upper right) and one suffering PMS (parasitic mite
syndrome) centre left.
Notice the wings are deformed due to Verroa feeding on it before
the bee emerged.
Try not to use the tag on Apivar to secure the strips, the
strips bend against the comb and don't give the full surface
area for treatment.
Use something like a cut down kebab skewer or long match stick
(with the head cut off) through the hole in the top so they hang
An alternative method for securing the Apivar strips for the
box directly below the queen excluder.
Topping up the club hive's winter supplies with sugar syrup
They talk about "The Robot" dance, I think we might be well on our
way to "The Beekeeper" with these poses.
Thanks to all for coming along despite the poor weather
March 2014 Hive Day
A nice uniform brood pattern, the new queen is getting going.
The grafted queen cell in the frame with protective tube,
notice how the bees have chewed the wax around it. The queen cell
separated from the protective tube.
A queen cup the bees have made.
Wearing protective gloves to handle Bayvarol strips for Verroa
ensuring it is places where the brood is situated
February 2014 Hive Day
First meeting of the new year and an introduction to the club
Looking inside the brood box to check on the swarms growth over
the summer break.
Going head to head with inspections, sometimes its a bit hard to
see whats happening.
Verroa mite present on a drone larvae.
A good all in all, the swarms seem to be coming along well.