Archive | June 2013

Bumblebees

As a beekeeper I often receive calls from people saying that “I have bees SWARMING around my bird box” which generally means that 1/2 a dozen bumblebees flying around. Most people are satisfied with the response that they are bumblebees and that they will do no harm – and that they will disperse in winter. Honeybees are smaller and thinner than a bumblebee which are fat and furry – honeybees are much like a wasp in shape but not as yellow. And a swarm consists of perhaps 20,000 honeybees which are attempting to up-sticks and move home. A definite “event” in the life of a colony as it essentially  splits into two. A swarm of honeybees will not fit in the average bird box, although I have seen a colony in a large one.

If someone is worried about a bumblebee nest the Bumblebee Conservation Trust has advice on how to identify them and how to move them. The BBKA also has information on identifying bees as below.

http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/identification/

http://www.bbka.org.uk/help/do_you_have_a_swarm.php

I do collect the odd honeybee swarm. It stops them getting into chimneys or enclosed spaces where they cannot be reached when they would probably have to be destroyed. I’m sorry that I don’t deal with bumblebees or wasps. Leave the bumblebees where they are and enjoy them! 🙂

http://www.norfolkbee.co.uk/swarms

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Queens mated and soon to be ready.

Some queens that didn’t mate have been replaced. The younger ones have been out flying and are now laying and nucs will be available soon. 🙂

 

Weather and more weather

I didn’t used to be so bothered about the weather but I am still waiting for many of my virgins to get going and fly but it’s not been warm enough with a cool East wind. Some maiden queens will be discarded next week when replacements are available as they are too old now. One has turned into a drone layer already.