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

Bee Shed

Tonight I emptied out my bee shed which I could literally just step inside!
3 hours later my shed looks neat and tidy and I can literally just step inside!!
Mind you I have fitted more “stuff” in it. 🙂

Drab May

Doing bees tonight I thought how we were spoilt by the lovely weather in April – warm, dry and sunny. By comparison May has been a drab, damp affair (well for me it has): colder, WETTER and the explosive build up by the bees last month seems to have stagnated at the moment, especially with the Rape crop finishing. Indeed I am keeping a watch on stores in some colonies (June gap come early?).


I saw my first 2011 queen today and got a real good feeling and there was normal sealed brood which is always a relief to me. My next dilemma is whether to mark now or next Spring, after the problems I had last year.
Tonight I went to a demonstration of Instrumental Insemination; I don’t know my stance on this and can see arguements on both sides. One thing I can say is a big “Thank You” to Michael Collier – what a really nice guy and a wealth of bee keeping knowledge and acumen he has. I remember going to Michaels last Open Day which still remains one of the best bee keeping things I have done.


I returned some supers to hives this afternoon, having extracted some honey. I noticed that a nuc which was an artificial swarm done last week had a small pile of dead bees outside the entrance: closer inspection revealed they were all drones – obviously surplus to requirement at this time for that colony and maybe a sign of a lack of food, which I quickly checked, though there seemed sufficient. Poor blokes!

What In Swarms Name Is Going On ?

I do beleive that bee keepers should be exacting artificial swarm control to avoid nuisance to the general public (much as I would love for the bees to carry out what comes naturally). So as it is only mid May and I already have 5 swarms from local bee keepers I have to ask what is being taught to these people? Last year I acquired 9 swarms and I feel that this is not good given that what I acquire is only a small percentage of the total.