Swarm collection and hiving

The perfect swarm collection! Why can’t it happen to me?

For the past couple of years, I’ve been waiting patiently to film the perfect swarm collection.

By ‘perfect’ I mean a massive swarm dangling, seemingly precariously, from a stout branch, at head-height unencumbered by foliage or prickles where the beekeeper simply comes along, places a box under the cluster, runs a hand between branch and bees and the whole lot drops into the box with a satisfying thud. It’s not like that in real life.

More typically, the bees will have settled unreachably at the top of a bendy fir tree ten metres off the ground (invariably, the caller will have told you they’re ten feet off the ground and that they have a suitable ladder available) or they’ll be lodged between a wall and a chain link fence or wrapped around a bramble bush or a coil of barbed wire. One thing’s for sure, no two swarm collections are the same and your technique will need adapting to fit the circumstances.

The swarm collected from Bishops Waltham by Lisa and Richie

Here’s some clips of a swarm collection and hiving on 29 June 2022. Ritchie received a call from a neighbour who reported that a swarm had arrived in her garden. Excited to collect his first swarm, he called Lisa, who swung into action to help. Watch to see how the pair of them got on.

Collecting (taking) a swarm

Video filmed and kindly shared by Carol Dawkins, Ritchie’s friend

Louise says about collecting swarms; take a deep breath, plan, amend your plan and execute!

If you take a swarm call, ask questions;

Is the swarm accessible?

How high is it off the ground?

Will I need clippers to cut foliage?

Do you have clippers and a suitable ladder?

Ask the caller to text a photo and their address and postcode then calmly assemble your equipment: box, cloth or sheet, straps, a brush is often useful and anything else your conversation with the caller suggests you might need. Swarm collectors

If you’ve passed your basic assessment and want to be added to the BBKA’s swarm collection list, please email stevefallowfield@btinternet.com

The table cloth (or sheet) is to make it easier to see the bees on the ground. It can also be used to wrap the box when the collection has been completed and secured with straps. I usually arrange the straps in a cross shape on the ground before spreading out the sheet on top of that.

On this occasion, Lisa brushed the bees from the tree into the box. During the collection process, bees will invariably be disturbed and many of them will be in the air again. It’s important to ensure these flying bees have the opportunity to rejoin the others and provided the queen is in the box, the flying bees will soon find their way in there too.

This time though, Lisa decided not to upturn the box and instead, closed the flaps and partially covered the box with the table cloth. Very soon, all the flying bees and those still in the tree found their way into the box suggesting the queen was present.

If there are bystanders present when you’re collecting a swarm, ask them to watch from a safe distance or through a window.

Hiving a swarm

Although most swarms are collected in the afternoon, it’s usually better to wait until dusk before hiving them. This is because sometimes, when hived in the afternoon, the bees decide they don’t like their new home and quickly leave or ‘abscond’ as we say. The ingratitude!

When setting up a hive for your new bees, it’s a good idea to place the table cloth in front of the hive to make it easier to see the bees. We usually tuck in the edge of the cloth between the hive floor and landing board to create a slope to make it easier for the bees to walk up.

There are two basic ways to hive the bees. You can remove most of the frames from the middle of the brood box, hold the box containing the swarm directly over the hive, sharply bang the bottom of the box and most of the bees will fall into the hive. The box used to collect the swarm may still contain a few bees and can be placed on the cloth in front of the hive to allow the bees to make their way inside.

The advantage of this method is it’s quick but be careful, if the cardboard box is bigger than the footprint of the hive, you run the risk that some of the bees (including the all important queen) may fall to the ground outside the hive. You’ll likely come back the following morning only to find the bees clustered under your hive!

The other method (as shown in the following clip), is to simply tip the bees onto the cloth in front of the hive.

Tipping the bees onto a sheet offers an opportunity to study your new bees close up and sometimes to spot the queen as she makes her way in but, on this occasion, she wasn’t seen.

By now, it was getting late (it was actually much darker than it appears on the video) and Lisa was keen to hurry things on a bit; she was desperate for a cup of tea! Ritchie used a plastic pot to carefully scoop up some bees which he placed in the open hive; thanks to my rubbish filming, you’ll just have to take my word for this!

Almost as soon as the bees in the pot were deposited in the hive, those on the sheet started to make their way in. For me, seeing the bees march into the hive is one of the most miraculous and rewarding parts of beekeeping.

The following clip clearly shows some of the bees. sending out a signal to the others. What they are doing is dispersing the Nasinov pheromone by lifting their little bottoms in the air and vigorously fanning their wings. The pheromone is released from glands at the tip of their abdomens and helps the others find the entrance to the hive.

In all, the hiving took 57 minutes from the start until the last of the stragglers had made her way in. Lisa put in an entrance block (to reduced the size of the opening) but later changed her mind. After dark, she went back to the hive and closed in the bees completely for 24 hours. This was as a precaution against the bees absconding. The idea is, the longer the bees are in the hive, the more they’ll invest in their new home; building comb etc. making it less likely that they’ll leave.

Some beekeepers place a queen excluder between the floor and brood box for the same reason but if you try this, make sure you remember to remove it after a couple of days.

In preparation for swarming, bees will have stored in their honey crops, sufficient food to last them about three days. Placing a feeder with a light syrup on the hive will help the bees to draw-out their new comb however, it is recommended that you delay feeding for three days to allow the bees to use up the food they brought with them. This is to prevent the bees from storing food that may be infected with pathogens.

It’s further recommended that the hive containing the swarm is placed far enough away from your other bees to prevent drifting. Again, this is in case the bees from the swarm are infected in some way.

Two days after hiving, the bees were active, seemingly happy in their new home. You can see some of them flying backwards, facing the entrance while others seem to be studying the back of the hive. This is all part of their orientation process.

In case you haven’t seen a swarm in progress, here’s a video taken by Richard Skinner at our Swanmore apiary on 23 June.

Hampshire Bee Health Day

Learning how to identify a notifiable disease is much easier in a real life situation

Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association hosted its Bee Health Day in partnership with our Regional Bee Inspectors on Saturday 18 June 2022. The free event was held at Sparsholt College, Winchester and combined talks from a variety of experts with practical hands-on learning.

After teas and coffee and a catch-up with friends, the day started in the lecture theatre with an overview of exotic pests by Seasonal Bee Inspector Nigel Semmence. There was particular emphasis on the Asian hornet and Small Hive Beetle.

The Asian hornet information was particularly pertinent to us as most of the incursions so far have been close to our area due to its proximity to the channel ports. It was also interesting to hear (and see, with the benefit of visuals) how the team tracked down and removed the last reported nest in Ascot, Berkshire.

After a break for coffee, our regional bee inspector John Geden talked us through how to identify European and American foulbrood in preparation for our afternoon session in the laboratory. This is an important subject not least because as beekeepers, we are legally obliged to report these diseases and therefore must know how to identify them.

At 12.30 we stopped for lunch at the college cafe (quiet unlike the food I remember from my student days, there was an excellent choice of reasonably-priced, good quality fare) before starting the afternoon workshops.

We were split into three groups which rotated through the workshops. The first workshop, hosted by Kevin Pope was a much more detailed look at Varroa (varroaris), its effect on our honey bees and the various treatment and control techniques open to us.

Whilst the threats discussed earlier in the day such as the Asian Hornet and Small Hive Beetle are thankfully, not of immediate concern, Varroa is a clear and present danger and it was good to be reminded of what we should be doing and when, the options available to us as well as new developments and ideas.

Seasonal Bee Inspector Mark Lynch

The next workshop, hosted by seasonal bee inspector Mark Lynch was a practical demonstration of the various methods of comb changing and apiary and equipment hygiene.

Mark talks the group through various methods of comb change before demonstrating how to correctly flame a box.

We discussed comb rotation (the movement of dirtier comb from the centre of the brood nest to the edges of the box prior to removal), the bailey comb change and the Shook swarm method.

We also looked at the basics of good apiary hygiene, like how to clean a smoker, hive tool and bee suit. The National Bee Unit has produced a series of short videos which are available to you by subscribing to their YouTube channel. You can access the channel by clicking on one of the links in this paragraph.

The third workshop took place in a laboratory and provided the chance to examine frames (recently removed by Bee Inspectors) infected with European and American Foulbrood. This was an opportunity most beekeepers would not get an an ordinary apiary meeting and was a chance to really expand our knowledge of these notifiable diseases.

Reading about EFB and AFB in text books and looking at photographs and videos is one thing but being able to actually see the frames, pull out and dissect infected grubs and carry out the matchstick test really did increase our confidence in being able to identify these diseases.

The workshop, hosted by John, Avril Earl and Dan Etheridge was carried out in strict laboratory conditions with every care being taken to ensure no infection could be transmitted to attendees for onward transmission to their bees.

John Geden taking a group through a frame

The whole day was extremely informative and interesting and our gratitude goes out to our regional bee inspectors for the time and effort they put in to making the day so useful and enjoyable. Thank you also to Meridian’s own Richard Skinner who put so much effort in to arranging the event on behalf of Hampshire Beekeepers. Not only did the day run like clockwork but there was all the behind the scenes organisation; liaising with the venue, caterers, bee inspectors and all the ticketing and promotions work.

Avril demonstrating how to examine a frame for European Foulbrood

Our bee inspectors are a rare and precious resource, available to all of us free of charge. If any of us ever worries that our bees are infected with any of the notifiable diseases or pests, the bee inspectors are there to help and are not be feared. Beebase is also a free resource packed full of definitive information designed to help you to keep your bees healthy and if you haven’t done so already, its a good idea to register there.

The day ended with a questions and answer session and various handouts including a guide to the Miller method of queen rearing and an Asian Hornet fact sheet; we have a supply of the documents and if you would like them, please get in touch.

If you were unable to attend the Bee Health Day, we hope this page provides some of the information you missed. If you get a chance to attend next time, it is thoroughly recommended; not just for new beekeepers but for those with more experience too. The most up-to-date information is presented clearly and in an engaging way and encourages and motivates us all to better look after the welfare of our bees.

Foulbrood

What can you see?

Despite their names, both European Foulbrood and American Foulbrood are present in the UK and are potentially so serious, that their presence in an apiary is notifiable by law. The National Bee Unit (NBU) is the authority charged with controlling foulbrood.

Beekeepers are legally obligated to report any suspected diseased colonies under the Bee Diseases and Pests Control Order 2006 (as amended).

If you suspect that you have Foulbrood, you must contact your local Inspector. Listed below are the identifiable features of each disease but if in doubt, the bee inspector must still be called; they will assist with identification and are always happy to help. There is a wealth of information on foulbrood including a downloadable leaflet and images on Beebase.

Most of the images on this page are from Beebase and Crown copyright applies. To download the images, please visit the Beebase image library.

Healthy brood

The most important thing, is to be able to identify healthy brood. Larvae should be a glistening ‘pearly’ white and should be lying at the base of the cell in a ‘c’ shape, the segments on their bodies clearly visible.

Capped brood should appear even, the cappings will have a dry appearance and may be a digestive biscuit colour however sometimes the cappings will be darker or more yellow depending on factors such as the age of the comb or the forage the bees have been working on. Anything that diverges from this description should be investigated further.

European Foulbrood (EFB)

EFB is caused by the bacterium Melissococcus plutonius. Larvae become infected by consuming contaminated food fed by the nurse bees. The bacteria multiply within the larval gut, competing with it for food. They remain in the gut and do not invade larval tissue; larvae that die from the disease do so because they have been starved of food. This normally occurs shortly before the cells are capped.

The identifiable symptoms are:

  • The disease affects larvae early; before they are capped. The ‘E’ in European stands for early
  • Younger larvae die and become transparent
  • Older larvae appear twisted (“melted down”), lose segmentation and turn yellow.
  • There may be a sour smell but not always. Beekeepers should therefore rely on their visual inspections.
Watch this 7 minute video

Provided the beekeeper has adequate equipment available, the bee inspector may conduct a whole apiary shook swarm to treat the outbreak.

For more information on European Foulbrood visit Beebase.

American Foul brood (paenibacillus larvae) AFB

Pepper pot brood pattern, darken, sunken cappings, some perforated.

AFB is caused by a spore forming bacterium called Paenibacillus larvae. These spores are the infective stage of the disease which begins when food contaminated with spores is fed to larvae by the nurse bees.

Once in the gut of the larva the spores germinate, bacteria move into the larval tissues, where they multiply enormously. Infected larvae normally die after the cell is sealed and millions of infective spores form in the larval remains. P. larvae spores remain viable for many years and are resistant to extremes of hot and cold and to disinfectants.

  • Only affects the pupal (capped) stage. The ‘A’ from American stands for after capping.
  • Pepper pot’ brood pattern
  • Perforated cappings. If you study the photograph, you’ll see tiny holes at the sides of some of the cappings where bees have attempted to uncap.
  • Moistened, sunken, darkened cappings
  • Roping when conducting a matchstick test
  • Scales visible on old comb
  • Unpleasant fishy smell (in more developed cases)

For more information on American Foulbrood, visit Beebase.

West End update

Denise and Richard inspected the West End apiary on 20 June.

In hive 1, they found the lovely new queen (split from hive 2 and marked yellow) was laying well in a great pattern.

Image.jpeg
The queen marked yellow can be seen in the middle of Richard’s beautiful picture.

The bees in hive 2 are in the middle of a supersedure with three cells visible, one ready to go. Richard went back on 21 June to check and found that she’d hatched overnight. Unfortunately, no sighting of the new queen or old.

Image.jpeg
Although the queen was not seen, the open queen cell (in the middle of this frame) is evidence that she has emerged.

Hive 3 Another good laying pattern in evidence but the bees are very active, fine if you’re well suited up!

Hive 4 is a Nuc; the queen has started to lay well and we plan to transfer into a hive in about three weeks.

BBKA Basic Assessment

The basic is a ‘one to one’ oral assessment

The basic assessment is designed to provide new beekeepers with a goal and to give them a measure of their achievement so far in the fundamental skills and knowledge of the craft.

To enter the basic, which is an oral assessment, a person must have at least one year’s experience of keeping bees.

The basic is the springboard from which to launch into more demanding assessments and a pass in the basic is a prerequisite for entry into all the other assessments.

Most of what you need to know will have been discussed at apiary meetings

To help beekeepers prepare for the basic assessment, Meridian runs an annual revision day organised and tutored by Louise. The one day session covers the whole syllabus which may look daunting on first glance but in fact, most people know more than they realise after keeping bees for a while.

The 2022 revision day was attended by Robin Sergi, Zara and Phil O’Connell, Fiona Hickley and James Savage.

Zara and Phil at an apiary meeting last year.

Catherine Pardoe generously hosted the event at her house and according to all accounts, provided endless tea and coffee, cooked a delicious quiche and made a beautiful salad and went above and beyond in every way to make the day a success! Thank you very much to Catherine.

From Catherine’s point of view, Louise was absolutely brilliant (as usual) and must have been exhausted after all that concentration and talking! Thank you from everyone to Louise, not just for Saturday’s revision day but for everything she does for us.

Attendees said what an useful event it had been; there was a lot of discussion about what their bees had done over the last year and Louise spent much of the day saying ‘ well your options might have been…….’

James Savage, seen here at a recent apiary meeting, said the revision day was very good!

With the proper preparation, the basic assessment is an enjoyable and instructive exercise which takes place at one of our teaching apiaries. The assessor will ask a few questions while you show them through a hive, pointing out what you see as you go.

Robin Sergi talking assessor James Donaldson through a hive inspection during his basic assessment at Swanmore in June 2022.

Some of the candidates at the 2022 assessment in Swanmore admitted feeling a bit nervous when they arrived but a cup of tea and chat with the assessor soon put them at ease.

Anthony Raymer making a brood frame; part of the practical assessment

As well as gauging your basic skills, the assessor will give you tips and information along the way. After they had completed their assessments all candidates said what an useful and enjoyable experience it had been.

One of the stand out learning moments for most people was being shown an easy method of collecting a sample of bees.

The assessor asks questions to test a basic knowledge of diseases and pests, the lifecycle of the honey bee and good apiary hygiene. You can read the full syllabus here.
This book is enjoyable and easy to read, has clear photography and illustrations and is the definitive text for the basic assessment.
It can be purchased from the BBKA shop

To find out more about the basic assessment, click here.

Telling the bees

Telling the bees is an age old tradition stemming from Europe in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper’s lives such as births, deaths and marriages.

Little is known about the origins of the tradition but some say it’s derived from Celtic mythology or even ancient Aegean notions about bees’ ability to bridge the natural world and the afterlife.

It was believed that if the keeper forgot to tell the bees, misfortune would follow; the bees might leave their hive or stop the production of honey or worse, they would die.

The custom of telling the bees is best recorded in England but it is known to have been practised in Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, The Low Countries, Switzerland and later, in the United States. One Lincolnshire account from the 19th century notes:

“At all weddings and funerals they give a piece of the wedding-cake or funeral biscuit to the bees, informing them at the same time of the name of the party married or dead.

If the bees do not know of the former, they become very irate, and sting everybody within their reach; and if they are ignorant of the latter they become sick, and many of them die.”

Death and funerals

Following a death in the household there were several ways in which bees were to be informed and therefore put into proper mourning.

The process is described in a 1901 work; A book of New England legends and folklore in prose and poetry:

…goodwife of the house to go and hang the stand of hives with black, the usual symbol of mourning, she at the same time softly humming some doleful tune to herself.

Samuel Adams Drake

One such ‘tune’ from Nottinghamshire had the wife saying “The master’s dead, but don’t you go; your mistress will be a good mistress to you.”

A similar song in Germany went “Little bee, our lord is dead; Leave me not in my distress.”

Another method of telling the bees involved the male head of the household approaching the hive and knocking gently on it with the key to the family home until “the bees’ attention was thus secured” and then saying “in a low voice that such or such a person was dead.”

A description from the Carolina mountains in the United States says that “You knock on each hive, so, and say, ‘Lucy is dead.’ Bees could also be invited to the funeral.

In cases where the beekeeper had died, food and drink from the funeral would be left by the hive for the bees, including the funeral biscuits and wine.

The hive would be lifted a few inches and put down again at the same time as the coffin or it may be turned to face the funeral procession and draped with mourning cloth.

In the Pyrenees it was custom to bury a garment belonging to the deceased beekeeper under the bench where the bee-hives stood. It was not permitted to sell, give away or exchange the bees of the dead.

If the bees were not told of the death of the keeper, “serious calamity” would befall the family but also to any person who was to take over the hive.

One account from Norfolk tells of a family who bought a hive of bees at auction from a farmer who had recently died. Because the bees had not been “put into mourning for their late master”, they were “sickly, and not likely to thrive.”

However when the new owners tied a “piece of crepe” to a stick and attached it to the hive the bees recovered, an outcome attributed to their having been “put into mourning.”

Weddings

Although the practice of telling the bees is most commonly associated with death, in some regions the bees are to be told of happy events in the family too, particularly weddings.

An article in the Dundee Courier from the 1950s describes the practice of inviting bees to the wedding. If a wedding occurred in the household, the hive might be decorated and a slice of wedding cake left for the bees.

In Germany, newly married couples going to their new home must first introduce themselves to the bees or “their married life will be unfortunate.”

A French tradition held that unless beehives were decorated with scarlet cloth at a wedding and the bees allowed to take part, they would go away.

The custom of ‘telling the bees’ has been described in many poems including one called Home Ballads:

Before them, under the garden wall,
Forward and back
Went, drearily singing, the chore-girl small,
Draping each hive with a shred of black.
Trembling, I listened; the summer sun
Had the chill of snow;
For I knew she was telling the bees of one
Gone on the journey we all must go!

John Greenleaf Whittier

In an episode of the TV drama Midsomer Murders (The Killings at Badger’s Drift, series 1 episode 1), a minor character remarks that a deceased character’s bees must be informed of her death or they will “just clear off”.

The curious custom of telling the bees strengthens the conviction that there exists a age old sympathy and relationship between bees and humans.

Wildflower verges

Stephen Barnes, chair of BBKA trustees has written to Area Associations and Branch Secretaries asking that we sign a petition urging the government to encourage local authorities to plant more wild flowers on roadside verges and other spaces in the public realm.

There are a number of advantages to wild flowers verges. Not least, they are nicer to look at than mowed grass but in the longer term, they save councils money and reduce the congestion caused by grass cutting. Most importantly of all, wild flower verges, roundabouts and meadows provide habitats for wildlife including pollinators.

Some enlightened councils are already investing in wildflower meadows as too is the Wildlife Trust.

Signing the petition is an opportunity to show support for this idea and to encourage councils to do the same.

Petition the Government

 

Bee Health Day 2022

Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association has release full details of the 2022 Bee Health Day which is being held at Sparsholt College, Winchester on 18 June 2022 from 08:45 to 17:00.

Attendees are limited to ninety so if you’d like to go, it’s a good idea to register early. HBKA has created an Eventbrite page for members to secure their place. Tickets are available now and will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Use the following link to access the HBKA Eventbrite page where further information is also available. Bee Health & Disease Day 2022 Tickets, Sat 18 Jun 2022 at 08:45 | Eventbrite

This event is only available to members of Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association.

Important notes

When booking members will be asked for their association details; in our case Meridian not their BBKA Number.

You will also be asked if you wish to have lunch at the Bites Cafe, which is located next to the Sainsbury Building where the event is being held.

For any questions please contact our secretary Richard Skinner. secretarymeridianbees@gmail.com

Mobile: 078 1264 2970

Apiary meeting, 21 May

Meridian members gathered at Swanmore today for our second apiary meeting of the season. The weather and bees were both kind for which we were grateful; we had several new members in attendance including Eileen, Jane, Kate, Pete, Patrick, Rachael and Jake.

In all, three hives were opened including Robin’s colony housed on twenty-two frames in two standard National boxes which is what Beekeepers call ‘double brood’. Thank you to Robin for allowing us to go through your hive.

Becky showing her group through one of the Association hives.

Thank you too, to Lisa and Becky for showing their group through two of the Association’s hives. Both colonies were occupying nine frames and are building up steadily. The queens were seen in both colonies, as well as brood at all stages. Honey, nectar and pollen were also identified and some of our newbies saw eggs for the very first time.

Healthy “pearly-white” larvae clearly segmented, lying in the characteristic ‘C’ shape in a pool of brood food. Eggs can be seen on the right-hand side.
Everybody was able to practise handling and turning a frame. Zoom in on Lucy’s face for an interesting close up of flying bees!

Thank you very much to Simon for demonstrating the ‘sugar roll’ technique of varroa counting. We were all perplexed by the apparent lack of varroa detected by the exercise. Only one varroa was found.

We also took out the monitoring boards from the Association colonies and despite a healthy drop of pollen, wax and other debris, only one varroa was detected on one of the boards. Could this be right?

As usual, the meeting concluded with tea and biscuits and the chance to chat bees and life!

Becky’s group watching a worker emerge from her cell.

Thank you to Becky and Lisa for leading their group and to Chris and Nicky for their support and to the Hammond’s for their usual hospitality.

Thank you also to those of you who parked elsewhere for keeping the Hammond’s driveway clear.

Denise: Spring update, West End apiary

I am pleased to say that both Meridian colonies at West End apiary survived the winter and as soon as the weather warmed up, in March, we were eager to open the hives and evaluate their progress.

The West End apiary is developing steadily

It was noted that there was brood and eggs present but the bees were only using 6 frames in each colony.

Spring is a good time to give bees new clean foundation. Various research suggests new clean foundation invigorates the bees and reduces the likelihood of any potential diseases, that the winter bees may be harbouring in old comb, from developing to critical levels.

There are two main popular choices for replacing old comb,

I was reluctant to carry out a shook swarm as there were too few bees and I didn’t want to lose all the young brood which, if allowed to develop, would boost the hive numbers. Therefore, a Bailey comb change seemed the way to go.

On 26th March, Stage One commenced by placing a clean brood box with clean frames, complete with foundation, on to the top of the existing brood box, matching the number of frames used by the bees and placing a dummy board each side. A feeder of 1:1 syrup was placed on the top of the crown board and the hive was left for a week.

After seven days the new brood box was checked, the Queen was found and moved into the upper box onto a frame with a few eggs and larvae. A Queen excluding Bailey board (with an entrance eke) was placed between the old and new brood boxes and the original entrance was blocked.

At this point the weather changed and became very cold, which gave me sleepless nights worrying that I may have killed the Queen. Research suggests that should the bees have a choice to save the brood or the Queen, due to extreme temperatures, they will save the brood.

It was an anxious time waiting for the weather to warm up sufficiently to open up the hive again to see what had happened.

Three weeks later, I opened both hives to find to my relief that both queens were happily laying lovely brood in the fresh foundation. Some capped brood were still in the lower old brood box and I decided to remove these frames and complete the comb change early.

  • The whole hive was moved to one side and a clean floor put on the stand
  • The top clean brood box with the queen and new frames of foundation was placed on to the floor.
  • The Bailey board was removed
  • The hive reassembled with the syrup feeder on top of the crown board until it was empty.
The hive inspection at the 24 April apiary meeting demonstrates the successful outcome of the comb change.

Happy days!

The other Meridian colony, 24 April