One clover and a bee
The reverie alone will do,
If bees are few.
Emily Dickinson. 1920
Hive 1 seems to be developing quite well. We reduced the entrance area of the hives to minimise the risk of robbing by other bees and by wasps. If wasps get into a weak colony they can overpower and destroy it. Whilst adding the block to one of the hives I was stung on the ankle. I assumed that it would fade quickly but it turned out to be a very nasty sting - terribly painful and resulted in me vomiting in the evening. Three days later my ankle is swollen but the poison has not caused further problems. This may be a 'one off' or the development of an allergy so I shall have to be careful with any further stings. I discovered this Thursday that the previous Thursday, after I had left, everyone else was stung by bees from this hive!! No wonder they let me put the entrance block in on Sunday!
I took some queen traps home from the apiary to clean and sterilise in order to minimise the chances of wax moth infestation. We all had a thorough check for wax-moth in the hives and changed floors, crownboards etc for clean ones. The cleaned one I was given had a wax moth pupa in the corner!! I heat treated it again and suggested that we do another treatment just before adding old hive parts to the hives because although they were cleaned months ago there is a chance the cracks in the wood have been accessed by moths etc.
We also marked up the supers for extraction!
I noticed wasps around the hive and reduced the entrance gap. I then monitored movement at the entrance over the next few days to ensure that the bees were coping with the smaller space. Interesting that the drones were not given immediate access and had to wait for a while before they were admitted. I am killing tow or three wasps around the hive each day but have not caught any in the traps. When I water the garden each evening I am swilling down the area around the hive and hopefully washing away any dropped nectar, or honey that would attract wasps.
I have been reading and planning for honey extraction. I bought my jars on Friday: 30 mini jars and 72 half pound ones. I doubt that I will use them all this year but the price was not too bad and they can be stored. I have designed the labels ready for printing - they are legally compliant with all the information and word size to meet legal requirements which makes the design difficult to keep simple and clean.
The supers are filling and at the moment it looks like I might get two super's worth ie about 50lbs which is fine for family and friends but not sufficient to sell this year.
Disease - I did the dreaded drone cull today on the end frame which her ladyship still insists on laying in. I will get rid of it at the end of the year when she stops laying. The good news is that when I examined the larvae there were no varroa mites. However, I shall stay vigilant and do a late autumn treatment.
Bee Trivia no 3
The male honeybee, drone has no sting. (Pity it was not a drone that attacked me!)