Sunflower and bee

Search Beesmith



What do I do if a swarm of bees turns up?

If you have a swarm of bees - DON'T PANIC. The first thing to check is if they are honey bees. If they really are honey bees then ring your local beekeepers association. For more details on how to check what you have got and get help see our swarms page.

If you live near to Bridport in Dorset then you can ring us on 01308 423808.

Contact Us

If you enjoy our stories and ponderings or want to give us feedback or suggestions for the site or our beekeeping escapades you can contact us by Email

Just because they are beautiful


Well we haven't had the time to fully update on last weekend's examination of the colonies, but there is just time to put up this very nice picture of a couple of the bees from hive 3 with some eggs in the background.
Bees from hive 3 with eggs showing in the background

Posted by David on Wednesday 18 June 2008 - 15:02:02 |printer friendly

Have we done the right thing?


We pondered long and hard on what to do with colony 3.  We went through it this morning and as expected it was heaving.  The brood box was 90% full of brood at some stage with some stores round the top all absolutely covered in bees.

If it had been a month ago I would have had no doubt that we should increase the brood box, but halfway through June would it be wise?  There were queen cells so we had to do something, especially as one was not far off being sealed.  Other options included making up a nuc, giving some brood to the weak colonies or artificially swarming.  A nuc for later reintroduction and supercedure had something going for it and hive 1 was certainly a candidate for receiving a boost of emerging brood, but neither felt quite right. 

In the end we decided that as the queen was clearly laying well we would just give her more space.  Hey, we are just learning so we can afford to take a few risks to see what happens! She has already swarmed this year so given the extra space hopefully she won't do it again.

Unfortunately when we went back in to sort it all out we couldn't find the queen (we had seen her in the morning) so decided to leave the queen cells and check again that they are queen right before removing them.

Posted by David on Sunday 15 June 2008 - 22:29:34 |printer friendly

Three new queens


Great news.  Our apiary inspections yesterday yielded good results and left us feeling much more confident about the future of all our hives.  And David got to exercise his gentle touch marking each of our new queens in turn with a yellow spot.

Nicely done David!
Posted by sally on Sunday 08 June 2008 - 14:32:18 |printer friendly

Good service


It is always nice to be able to applaud good service.  So here is a mention for Maisemore Apiaries.  I had a problem with a bee suit I bought from them back in September. I contacted them and was delighted with their genuine concern and helpful approach.  No quibbles or messing about: they made sure a replacement was in the post straight away.  Many big companies could learn a thing or two from them. 

So thank you very much Maisemore!
Posted by David on Friday 06 June 2008 - 17:51:23 |printer friendly

Good timing?


There are a lot of young bees taking play flights out of hive 3 this afternoon.  It really is very busy.  These are the first of the new brood from this swarm from the New Forest.  The queen has been laying very well and we are now set to see a population explosion.  With the weather hopefully about to turn for the better, the bramble just coming out and the main summer flow about to start what better position could that colony be in?
Posted by David on Thursday 05 June 2008 - 15:22:13 |printer friendly

Photos and bee blather


I though you might like to see the latest ladies of the apiary. The new swarm certainly has some good looking ladies.
New apiary ladies
I had hoped that the photos would have given us a nice clear picture of the queen, but no such luck. Like Sally said, we think there is a virgin queen and we missed her because she is still slim - well hopefully she is no longer a virgin!

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by David on Sunday 01 June 2008 - 23:50:16 |printer friendly

Checking our hives


Time to look at both of the swarms we acquired. The swarm from the New Forest had been left alone for just under a fortnight and as we had found a queen cell in our last inspection, it would be wise to check them out. And then, last week's swarm needed checking over and the floor replacing with one of the new varroa floors we bought from David Pearce last week.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by sally on Sunday 01 June 2008 - 10:50:37 |printer friendly

Mating Swarm


Well at first we thought how lucky we were, it was happening again.  A second swarm (within a week) in our neighbour's garden.  David spotted lots of bees flying around next door's Acer tree.  And right at the top seemed to be the swarm.  We set about putting lures around the tree to tempt the swarm out and then I noticed lots of activity around hive 2 in our apiary - loads of bees on the flight board.

Now that was the hive we had worried didn't have a queen and for a while we thought the new swarm had found it and decided to make it home.  Quite possible I suppose if they had found a queenless colony but on further inspection, we think something entirely different had happened ...

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by sally on Friday 30 May 2008 - 12:56:54 |printer friendly

New queen laying nicely


We checked our hives 3 and 4 in the garden today and all looks good. 

The new queen in hive 5 has a good pattern of brood, nicely capped and it is across 8 frames in the two brood boxes.  We've added varroa traps to both boxes to manage the varroa (count is running at less than 7 a day right now).  Lots of stores in the brood boxes and one of the supers is half full too.

The original qeen in hive 4 is also on 8 and we've delayed putting a second brood box on as we plan to move across to our new apiary so we'll need to make sure we give her room soon.
Posted by sally on Thursday 29 May 2008 - 15:45:21 |printer friendly

New queen laying nicely


We checked our hives 3 and 4 in the garden today and all looks good. 

The new queen in hive 5 has a good pattern of brood, nicely capped and it is across 8 frames in the two brood boxes.  We've added varroa traps to both boxes to manage the varroa (count is running at less than 7 a day right now).  Lots of stores in the brood boxes and one of the supers is half full too.

The original qeen in hive 4 is also on 8 and we've delayed putting a second brood box on as we plan to move across to our new apiary so we'll need to make sure we give her room soon.
Posted by sally on Thursday 29 May 2008 - 15:45:21 |printer friendly

Go to page  1 2 3 ... 54 [55] 56 57 58