I’ve been neglecting this blog a little as it has been so interesting now we have the Arnia hive monitors at our Hughenden Manor Apiary. I so wish I could do this at home, or set up a Raspberry Pi to do similar. If you are interested search for Hughenden Buzz on wordpress or follow this link. http://hughendenbees.wordpress.com/
It is really nice to be involved in a group such as the volunteer beekeepers at Hughenden. I prefer to be home in the evenings when most of the BKAs have their sessions though the communities there are great and of course the buying and selling of equipment or nucs saves money. One of the Hughenden beekeepers mentioned that last Sunday her bees at home swarmed. Luckily she was ready to do something to them and so actually they had swarmed somewhere close by and she was able to gather tham and make an extra colony. She and I have been called out to a whole host of swarms at about 1.30 pm on a Sunday so I start cooking the Sunday roast with some trepidation these days. The fact her bees swarmed was useful, though. I had just added a super to each of my hives so I hope that took their minds from swarming to drawing comb. My back gets so bad I may have to give up beekeeping – I certainly pace myself as far as opening the hives are concerned. It seems to force my back into exactly the wrong position and even the weight of a single frame sometimes makes it even more uncomfortable. Still, until I am forced to, perhaps I should consider a bait hive. This is still an area that fascinates me. Partly because of one swarm collection at Hughenden Manor’s walled garden; the bait hive was positioned on the wall and the bees just marched in with obedience – the easiest swarm collection ever. Partly because in my early days the tales from older beekeepers about bait hives and their mysterious hints about their secret formula for ‘bait sausage’ were so intriguing. Cucumber was definitely mentioned. I have just kept to lemon grass oil and something that could smell of bees already. Oh and the sign I added saying ‘Hive to let, gentle bees only need apply’. Not that I was very lucky. perhaps this year I will be. I’ll add a poll at the bottom to find out if people have had success with bait hives.
Here is a bait hive placed near a swarm that was too high for me; I think eventually these bees moved into my chimney having spent a cold, wet day or too in the tree.