This morning we cycled to Dorset Lane Allotments where Clive keeps his bees. He very kindly made us a cup of tea and provided us with 4 queen cells to put in our colony that has now been without a monarch for 3 weeks. Some of the workers have started to lay so we have to hope the colony will accept one of these when they emerge in the next few days. Then another stroke of good fortune, Mark on One Tree Hill Allotments only half a mile walk away had a swarm that he couldn't rehouse. So this evening we walked home 10,000 bees (that's when you want someone to try mugging you) and rehived them in the empty box. It's a happy sight to see them all troop up the ramp into the hive. Here's a little video we made of our first ever swarm.
Tomorrow our bee glade should once more be loud. And they can get on with making honey while the sun shines.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
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I'm glad your fruit trees grafts worked!
How are your bees doing? You've probably noticed a lot of discussion recently on my blog on the subject. Have you noticed CCD with your bees?
How is the rest of your garden?
The bees are well - 2 colonies with laying queens that look healthy and active. I have been reading about CCD and there were a few very experienced beekeepers in our circle who lost a lot of bees this year.(http://environment.guardian.co.uk/conservation/story/0,,2055067,00.html)
I have just done a workshop on 'integrated pest management' with the national and 2 regional bee inspectors and their attitude is certainly dismissive towards the CCD theory. The seem convinced that it is a result of not controlling varroa mite infestation. ?? I am alarmed by what I read but too inexperienced to know if this is the government out of touch or in denial.
The rest of the garden is going reasonably well, you know, black fly on the broad beans and pigeons tearing up the cabbage patch but I've just been planting out sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, parsley, celeriac and beans and eating first salad leaves and rhubarb crumble...
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