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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.

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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!

The apiary ladyOf course it would be unfair not to show the principal lady of the apiary. So here is a picture of Sally close up to the frames and not wearing gauntlets - futher proof to any doubters that might still remain of her fearlessness!

Sally mentioned the varroa floors we have bought from David Pearce. I had meant to write about them and about my visit to collect them but haven't had the time. David does merit a mention for his OMFs (open mesh floors), the excellent quality of his frames and the fact that he is a great chap to chat with. The great thing is that he is a beekeeper who also has professional woodworking skills. This means he is always looking for little improvements to kit - which he has to tell you about when you visit. One of his little sales pitches was for a combined crownboard and eke. One side is a standard crownboard but it has a raised frame on the other side so when it comes to treating with Apigard in the autumn you can just flip it over and there's enough space for the patty.

David PearceDavid makes OMFs for all hive designs and will even make custom sizes for unusual hive types like the Gale. Even his nuc boxes are fully fitted out with open mesh floors and trays.

The thing that causes us most to sing his praises is the quality of his frames. The first ones we bought were from National Bee supplies. Whilst the wood was good and hard and the sides fitted snugly, the top bead needed a chisel to free and a lot of work to clean up. They were also very slightly oversize, meaning our ends didn't fit smoothly. All this made making them up a chore - though still easier than the rubbish seconds that our local association uses! David's on the other hand are a dream to put together, with the bead held by just enough to keep it in place until you need to remove it.

Part of the reason for the excellence of the frames could be down to the machine that David bought from Taylor's when they closed. He will show it to you if you ask. In fact it is worth setting aside plenty of time when you visit, with all the things he has to show you and good chat about beekeeping you can't just wizz in and wizz out again. Give yourself an hour at least!
A little editor's note here:  You may have seen that I spelled ApiGuard incorrectly above.  I am leaving it as it is because it gets found by search engines.  So all you folk that got here by searching on Apigard try again with the correct spelling.
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Posted by David on Sunday 01 June 2008 - 23:50:16 |printer friendly