A lovely sunny day for our first group apiary inspection of the year @ The Lost Gardens of Heligan. 8 budding beekeepers in attendance. Myself, Tom, Geoff, Chris L, Chris G, Sandra and Mark.

We started at the bottom of the orchard in our newly located apiary.

Hive No.5 – Twin walled Hexagonal Hive. This was set up as a bait hive last year. It attracted a small cast swarm at the beginning of July, which unsurprisingly didn’t make it through to September. On closer inspection we found a small cluster of dead bees that had obviously died from starvation. Plenty of lovely formed empty comb. The hive was cleaned up ready to attract a new swarm with aid of a few dabs of lemongrass oil. Watch this space to see what happens.

Hive No.4 – National Hive (Cork Insulated Panels). Packed super above the brood box with new comb and stores. Added a 3rd super to allow for expansion. Very good temperament. Top cloth well propolised and chewed away at the edges. Bees CALM

Hive No.3 – Rose Hive V2 (Cork Insulated Panels). Another hive full to the brim with bees, new wax and stores. Added a 3rd super. Again top cloth heavily propolised and chewed. Bees CALM

Hive No.2 – Rose Hive V3. Built with cork panels integrated into the hive body. Wintered with 3 supers. Again top super full of new comb, stores and bees. Added a 4th super. Bees CALM

Hive No.1 – Rose Hive V2 (Cork Insulated Panels). This hive appeared lifeless over the last couple of visits. Presumed dead. On closer inspection, we found a small cluster of live bees! Removed the top frames. 3 or 4 with stores. A small cluster of brood. And then we spotted the queen (black) Some multiple eggs observed in single cells. Possibly queen not laying very well and some laying workers? Decided to reduce to one super and see what happens

Great to get back to some sort of normality with inspections now doable at Heligan. Very happy with the health of the bees, especially after what has been a very cold spring so far. 

Many thanks to those who attended and look forward to the next one in a month’s time.


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