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Saturday, 19 June 2010

Queen Street Bees

The Queen Street Bee Swarm story has generated a lot of interest - thanks for all the great comments. Hubby and I have now safely delivered the bees to the apiary...which is situated in a beautiful field of purple and white clover. We took the bees directly here rather than to the blueberry fields as the blueberry blossoms are just about finished. Those hives will be moved back to this spot very soon.
Hubby tells me the bees prefer the white clover to the purple. Either way, there's lots there to keep them well fed and happy.
Here hubby is getting ready to move the frames from the grey nuc box to a regular deep super. A "super" is the term for the bee boxes. Deep supers contain the frames upon which the queen lays her eggs and hatches the brood and generally make up the bees' living quarters. Shallow supers are added on top of these deep supers for honey storage. There is a metal screen placed between the deep and shallow supers called a Queen Excluder. As the name implies, everyone can pass through the mesh screen except the queen. This prevents her from laying eggs in the honey frames.
These swarm bees have had a busy few days. They were given empty frames with black foundation. You can see they have started to "draw out" the comb shape in wax on this foundation.
The cells on this side are pretty much ready to be filled. We saw some already containing eggs laid by the queen. She is building her colony quickly.
This frame had lots of eggs on it.
The bees even had time to build extra "burr comb" on the inside of the nuc box. We were surprised to see a big bumblebee on the bottom. He doesn't appear to be bothering the honeybees one bit.
Hopefully this will be all the bee excitement for awhile. The next adventure with the hives will be to move them into the cranberry blossoms in a week or so.


  1. That was an exciting bee adventure, even for me, and I wasn't even there. So I can imagine that it was the talk around your supper table for many days. It's good to see the bees so happy. If I was a bee, I would like purple clover.