Tuesday 14 May 2024

Beekeeping Lessons

 Last Thursday was the perfect evening for a beekeeping lesson. The day had been warm and sunny and the evening felt long, a perfect spring evening. 

The lesson started with them letting a captured swam "walk" up to their new hive. They shook out the skep and let the bees walk up a board into a national hive. It happened in a matter of minutes. apparently once the queen goes up they all follow. 

In our small group we then inspected our two hives. Not great news in the first hive as no sign of a queen and not huge amount of stores. 

The second hive was better, it looked like we had a new queen who had started laying. Wendy even managed to spot this new queen and we tried to mark it, but it didn't quite work out! We decided that rather than upset her too much we'd try again next week. 

This area of training apiary is amazing really. A bunch of hives together, with some that we manage, btu then if anything interesting is going on we can all go and look. 

I've been really enjoying the experience so far. And so far I've not been stung! 

Very tempted just to get my own hive now or to build one. I wonder if I can find attract a swam at my dads farm. 


  1. My parents used to "re-queen" hives after the queen was I think three years old. They ordered new queens by mail, offed the old queen and then installed the new queen. This allowed the hives to stay strong instead of getting weak with an old queen.

    Every winter, my brother and I put together hive bodies. My parents ordered the unassembled pieces from a company and our job was to put them together and get everything ready for swarms or the division of strong hives in the spring. Eventually word gets out and people start calling you whenever they see a swarm.

    1. That sounds sensible! Yeah I thknk with my dad and brother knowing I'm keeping bees I should start to get some calls about it as they know everyone!
      I'm looking forward to getting some hives and making a space for it. Should be fun.

  2. So glad you are enjoying this Kev. I really have a place in my heart for beekeeping.

    There are individuals that effectively create queens themselves by rearing them (as is usual with me, of course, I have a book on it). Although I will never be up to it, it is a pretty interesting processes.

    Given your skills, I do not see why you could need build deeps and frames. The measurements are universal and commonly available.

    1. Yeah, I love how deep you can go into it. The queen rearing they are doing as part of the club. So be interesting to learn more about that.

  3. Talk of beekeeping reminds me of the monk from (I think) somewhere in the West Country who was a world expert on all matters relating to bee keeping. I recall reading his obituary some time ago - a fascinating story of a life dedicated to God and bees.

    1. yes, buckfast bees, I have book on it which is really interesting.


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