07917 677667 beesatbobs@btinternet.com RJ beekeeping, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

Fair Do’s !

Further to my blog yesterday, and having contacted the company to express my concerns: Their managing director has contacted me to say the product will not be released without further investigation, and the intention is to drop the product.

Now Anyone (Man In The Street) Can Keep Bees!!!

I have steam coming out of my ears! A company called “Classicalia” is advertising “Simple Bee Keeping” because it’s so easy to do – Anyone can do it!
Just spend close on £500 and you can get everything you need to keep bees and get honey (and ways to “attract” bees to your hive). Simple!!

What’s Wrong With Modern Beekeeping.

An excellent talk, superbly delivered by Phil Chandler. Well worth making the effort to attend today. I was captivated. It was great to hear someone (else) questioning the BBKA and it’s approach.

Spring has Sprung!!

Bluebells and Oil Seed Rape in flower before the middle of April!! Did I miss a couple of weeks somewhere?

A Merry Dance

I have made sure that all my queen are marked today ready for swarm control. This entailed finding and marking or re-marking 17 queens, the rest were okay and still clearly marked. I have one standard brood (for my observation hive) and needed to mark this queen: I searched the frames 3 times without success! I didn’t have a spare standard box to separate the colony to make the job easier, so instead I took all the frames of food out, shaking the bees off and made 4 “pairs” of frames – hoping the queen would seek to go in between a pair of frames, in the dark. Despite this I still could not find her and so decided to put everything back to look next week. As I put the crown board back on with fondant block there she was ( I could sense her laughing with her entourage at this stupid bee keeper) on the fondant. Now I had to mark her – I don’t like picking queens up (and always use a queen cage) so tried to get her to walk onto my fingers, no chance! She scurried around and around almost saying “you can’t catch me!” Then all of a sudden she walked straight up my index finger into the palm of my hand and stopped. I needed to get her onto a frame to press the queen cage into the wax but would she move- it seemed like for ever but eventually she “sauntered” down onto the frame and at last I marked her. In another colony which I opened for the first time this year, the frames were a struggle to lift out and each had a huge lump of propolis set at the entrance end (frames set cold way) – obviously the bees had done their work to keep out the cold of last winter! Just as well I checked them though as this queen has already laid up 8 frames of brood (14 x12).
Drones were starting to hatch as well, so we know what could happen soon.