News from the hives

Just a quick update of my notes on the two colonies at the Zoo –

Saturday11th May 2013 at 08:00hrs

Bees transported from Cornwall in two Nucs (1) & (2) and placed on the Hive stand on the Giant Tortoise Lawn.  (As you face looking at the front of the Hives) Nuc (1) is on the left, nearest Baboon Rock, and Nuc (2) is on the right nearest the keepers entrance to the lawn.  National Hives were numbered accordingly.  Photo shoot with Zoo press officer.

Bees were not placed in the National Hives due to concern over the size of the colonies being placed into the ‘Deep Brood’ National Brood Boxes.

Saturday 11th May 2013 at 10:00hrs

National Bee Supplies contacted 2 replacement Standard Brood Boxes ordered.

Monday 13th May 2013 at 12:00hrs

New Brood Boxes collected.

Wednesday 15th May 2013 at 16:00hrs

Standard brood boxes placed on site.  Quick visual observation made of both Nucs:-  Both Colonies very active bees flying out and flying back in. Lots of pollen going in.  No sign of Nosema  on Nucs, no dead or crawling bees seen on the ground. Both Nucs given 2 pints of feed.

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Wednesday 22nd May 2013 at 14:00hrs

Bees transferred from Nucs to Hives.  Photo shoot with Zoo press officer.  At the time of the shoot I was approached by a Zoo keeper who claimed to have been stung a couple of days ago.  He reported that he had sat on the grass a few feet away from the entrance of Hive / Nuc (1) observing the bees flying in and out of the entrance when after a time a bee flew into his hair and got caught, when he released the bee the bee flew and stung him on the shoulder.

Nuc 1 / Hive (1)

Bees very calm.  Queen not seen.  6 frames of brood at all stages  eggs, uncapped and capped brood.  one old queen cup  on 3rd Nuc frame.  All frames covered with young nurse bees.  Plenty of stored pollen and good stores at top of the frames.  Frame feed given 2 pints.  No sign of pests or disease.

Nuc 2 / Hive (2)

Bees very clam.  Queen not seen.  5 frames of brood at all stages eggs, uncapped and capped brood. All frames covered with young nurse bees. Plenty of stored pollen and good stores at top of the frames more stores than Nuc (1). Frame feed given 2 pints.  Colony size about equal to Hive (1).  No sign of pests or disease.

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Thursday 30th May 2013 at 16.30hrs

Hive (1)

Bees very calm. Queen not seen. 6 frames of brood at all stages eggs, uncapped and capped brood fuller than last inspection.  All frames covered with young nurse bees. Plenty of stored pollen and good stores at top of the frames.   No feed given.  2 x Bees seen with deformed wing virus.  Bees checked with magnifying glass to check for phoretic varroa mites – negative.  Sample of Drone brood to be uncapped in a couple of days.   2 x bees seen with K wing.  Tray drop inspected no mites seen.

Hive (2)

Bees very calm. Queen seen and marked yellow (Queen brown does not look black).  7 frames of brood at all stages eggs, uncapped and capped brood.   All frames covered with young nurse bees. Plenty of stored pollen and good stores at top of the frames. No feed given. 2 x Bees seen with deformed wing virus. Bees checked with magnifying glass to check for phoretic varroa mites – negative. Sample of Drone brood to be uncapped in a couple of days.   1 x bee seen with K wing. Tray drop inspected no mites seen.

Both colonies appear to be of equal size and developing quite well but will probably need varroa treatment.  I plan to visit the Zoo in a couple of days to find and mark the Queen in Hive (1) and plan to have Adam Vevers and the Bee Vet Emily Simcock attend to inspect both colonies during the latter part of next week.

Regards,

Gerry STUART

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