28 August 2007

Waxy Beelegs Honey (reprise)

Had another go at inserting the bee escapes below the topmost super, and this time (I reckon) got it right. The frames are all full of closed cells, so there might be areound 20lbs of Waxy Beelegs Honey on the way.
Pic from www.burtsbees.com, and very jolly it is too...

14 August 2007

There were 75,937 bees.

Once again, as soon as I arrive at the hive, the Heavens Opened, and Lo! I was Sore Annoyed.

The Master Plan (hah!) had been to have another crack at inserting a board with bee escapes to clear the top super of bees prior to taking the honey in a couple of days.

The best I could do was open the hive, drown a few bees in the downpour, realise that the cells are not in any case fully capped, close it all up and scarper. It was so wet that there was no point trying a full hive inspection.

Rain Man. That's me. There were 75,937 bees.

13 August 2007

Fairy Liquid Power Spray

While I fiddle around failing to sort out the bee escapes, take a look at http://www.wwnorton.com/cgi-bin/ceilidh.exe/pob/forum/?C3415104e900A-6409-1073+1d.htm for some nice random beekeepery.

I washed the bee escapes in Fairy Liquid Power Spray. Oh Yes I Did. Best anti-propolis agent known to Incompetence.

05 August 2007

Health & Safety may have to be informed

Visited the apiary, armed with hive tool, brush, spare frames, black plastic bags... You name it, I had it, all ready to remove my first honey-laden super.

Except when I actually pulled the super out, I realised I had put the bee escapes either side of the old brood super on top. The result was that I had a super full of old brood, some very discombobulated drones, and no honey.

Meanwhile, the super immediately above the brood boxes was, sure enough, packed with honey and also packed with bees.

"Oh f-f-fiddlesticks," I said to the bees, and "b-b-bother."

I re-ordered the supers into the correct positions, and will come back all over again to re-insert the escapes and have another go.

Incidentally, the bee escapes are not much cop. In both of them one of the two exits was blocked by a dead worker, and the drones are too big to get out at all. Health & Safety may have to be informed - I mean, what happens if there is a fire?

Pic from http://www.viking-direct.co.uk/, of course.

04 August 2007

OK, next time I'll remember the camera!

Called Peter Bowbrick for advice on the bee escapes, and from the confused description I gave him, it sounded as if all is fine.

The piece I was missing was a solid crown board, one with no holes. Apparently it is more usual to put a solid board on top of the topmost super, and put a board with bee escape underneath it - hence you only need one bee escape, with the word TOP on, er, the top.

In my case, because I had no solid top board, I resorted to a board with an upside-down bee escape in it.

OK, next time I'll remember the camera!

03 August 2007


To start the honey collection process, I have chosen to try to remove the bees from the supers using Porter bee escapes. Not tried these before, and they are mysteriously marked TOP on one side... Inserted a board above and below the topmost super, with the Porter bee escapes in them to allow bees out, not in...

Well, that's the theory, anyway. Apparently it is more usual to put a board with an escape in underneath the super, and put a solid board on the top. Because I don't have any solid boards (note to self: make one!) I had to use a crown board with a bee escape in upside-down.

Unless, of course, I've put them in arsy-versy, in which case all the bees will be trapped.

The boards were put in on Wednesday evening, so Plan A says I collect the super, minus the bees, on Saturday...
Pic stolen from the excellent http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/port.html, David Cushman, who clearly has as many computers as bees.