As an Amateur Bee Keeper, AKA, an Apiarist, I have become responsible for several thousand bees in my backyard.  I have two hives, one is doing remarkably well and is a ‘Hive of Activity’.    The saying is true! When you stand around a Bee Hive that has a lot of bees, it is like standing besides a very busy Airplane Runway.

I have not been stung yet, but the Bees seem to be very placid. They leave me alone and I – ah hem – need to check on them at least once every 6 weeks.

As I need to keep a record, somehow, somewhere, of the observations I make of the Bee Hives, this is the way I think I’ll do it.

 

2015-11-11 Observation:

Left Hand Hive (closest to current Green House) :

At present consists of Brood Chamber.  This hive seems to have covered over 4 frames, but there are not many bees in this Bee Hive. I admit to being concerned, however as I have not ever done this before, I just need to leave it alone.

Right Hand Hive (further from Green House):

This hive seemed to be ‘full’ of bees.  In reality it probably is not.  The out most frames have no bees on them. One of the frames’ wax had become ‘unstuck’ so I removed the wax, but not the frame.  In hindsight (and in the future I shall do this) I should have removed the frame so I could re-melt the wax back onto it.

A further issue were that the bees were building their wax on the ceiling of the box. I could not remember what that meant, so at the Tuesday night Bee Keepers meeting I asked of this and the suggestion was that perhaps the bees were searching for warmth, so I need to place a piece of Lino at the top of the hive.  I have purchased the lino to put into the hive, but have yet to insert it into the hives.

Lessons Learnt:

  1. Don’t put tools which you use IN the hive on top of another hive. While there are only trickles of honey on the tools it does tend to leave a very small residue which the ants pick up on very quickly. I was gone for about 10 mins after doing this, and the ants were ‘all over’ (that is, about 50 of em) the lid of the hive.  I have placed ant pellets around the hive, but I am not sure how I feel about this approach.
  2. If any of the Frames inside the hive are damaged (or if the Wax has melted off of the frame), remove the entire frame straight away for mending. In the future, i shall have a few spare frames available in case I need to swap them in.
Checking the Bee Hive Lid

Checking the Bee Hive Lid

Close up view of the Lid

Close up view of the Lid

 

From this, wax on the lid, I gently brushed the bees back into the hive and pried the wax / honey into a clean container. From there I separated out the pieces into three small round containers to give to friends who I knew would like to try the honey.  Although, as you can see from the lower picture, there was more wax than honey in the containers.