The Langcliffe Bees.

The Langcliffe 'BEEKS'.
All those who support the Langcliffe bees gathered in the Community Garden to celebrate the bees with the bees on Midsummer Eve.

Dave and Tina in the Beekeeper's suits.

Another Update from Dave.
Tel 07517127788

Dear Beeks
Asian Hornets pose a big threat to our bees.
They have been spotted in Cornwall and Hull.
​The link below explains the situation,

https://www.bbka.org.uk/news/two-more-asian-hornet-incursions-found-in-liskeard-hull

 
Sorry I’ve not given an update for a while so here goes.
 
On the 3rd of July we carried out an inspection of the national and noted that the hive was somewhat overcrowded, to the point that we had cross-combing and double combing ie comb built between the frames. We also had at least 8 queen cells suggesting that swarming was about to to take place, so we took remedial action in the form of providing more space, by adding supers and also by removing the queen cells in question.
 
A further inspection was carried out on July 14th with a view to reducing the risk of swarming. To this end a few of us in the group decided that an option would be to split the colony of the National, in effect creating a new colony. I should add at this point that Dave Elliot, the resident beehive maker, had completed the build of a new top bar hive ( his second}, commissioned by Kathy, a big thanks to you both. So obviously this would be the new home for the new colony. But here lies the problem, the frames within the national cannot be transferred to the top bar as they are rectangular in shape whereas the top bar is somewhere close to triangular ( or trapezoid if you want to be bloody clever,  inverted at that lol!!). This meant placing top bars( from the top bar hive) in the National with the hope that our lovely girls would build comb on them and her majesty would lay eggs there too. If successful, on next inspection they would be transferred to the top bar hive along with her majesty and as many bees as possible. More on that later. As part of this inspection we had difficulty in locating the queen but weren’t overly concerned as there were lots of uncapped brood. Also present were more queen cells, which were removed forthwith. There was also heaps of honey store which prompted us to take some, yes we have now become honey robbers ( I don’t know how you sleep at night). Those who didn’t get a little taste of honey ( film and a book, possibly a play) will get some on the next tranche. Of course this came at a cost, indeed a personal cost, as I got stung AGAIN and ended up at A &E. My neck was swollen to the point that I looked like Pete Griffin off family guy!! Don’t be put off by this as I made some silly mistakes and as a result we have put in place some new safety measures. Swiftly moving on. Checks were made too for diseases and mites, thankfully everything was good so we closed up the hive.
 
26 July, the big day. We opened the National up and discovered that comb had been built on the top bars but unfortunately it contained no brood only a little honey store. We decided at this point to look for queenie, sadly she was no where to be found nor was there any uncapped brood ie larvae or eggs, added to that there were plenty of empty brood cells. This suggests that a swarm has occurred, possibly around the 5th July but could be as late as the 18th July, the latter less likely. We did find a queen cell during the inspection so this could be our saving grace, if not we may have to obtain a new mated queen. This will be determined once I have spoken to John Vendy. We will also need to inspect next week to see if the queen has arrived.
 
Further, as balanced beekeepers we should see the swarm in a positive light,  as swarming is paramount to the survival of bees as a whole and we as a group have contributed to this. Also if we are successful in introducing a new queen then not a lot has been lost. Hopefully we can learn from this experience and look for the signs of swarming and react a lot quicker in future.
 
Just moving quickly on to the existing top bar hive, we carried a quick inspection on Thursday 19th July and noted that everything was well with them ( only what you would expect as they are Yorkshire lasses! ...sorry Kathy and Pam). They were creating plenty of honey store and the queen was very active too, so we are pleased there.
 
Hopefully I have covered everything but if I have missed anything, or you want to know anything then please get in touch. I had a chat with Kathy the other day and we think another meeting should take place in the very near future.
 
Kind regards
 
Dave
Just to say well done to the team yesterday and I don’t mean our national football team, England, I’m talking about our Bee Team and the national hive! We managed to install a further two supers, which included one for our gracious queen to lay more brood and one for honey storage. So we now have four supers and a brood chamber (If it carries on at this rate we may have to alert the Civil Aviation Authority).
 
As we mentioned on the last update the hive was starting to get a bit congested so we were concerned with regards a potential swarm. We hope providing more space will help avert this. We also noted yesterday that there were quite a few queen cells, so these were removed too, again this is a sign of possible swarming.
 
The task in hand was quite arduous as we had to remove all the existing supers and also check all the existing frames including the brood box, on both sides for the queen cells. The supers were quite heavy as each had drawn comb with capped and uncapped honey. Kathy and Tina, I have to say we’re a well organised team. especially as we put everything back together at the end of the inspection. I would also like to thank Kathy for getting the new supers complete with frames and foundation, delivered in double quick time...she’s on the ball is that one😀
 
All in all we were feeling pretty pleased with how things went, especially as we went into extra time ( it was 6pm when we finished) and hopefully everything will settle down now, obviously we will be playing ...oops I mean inspecting again next week to see if it has.
 
Oh and I mustn’t forget,  a big thanks to our fans Pam and Christine who gave us a warm reception when we left the field!!
 
....the honey’s combing home!!
 

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Click on the button above to link with a Bee-Friendly Gardening Guide‎ to find out which plants are good for the Langcliffe bees.

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