Beekeeping and Honey! — swarm RSS



***Guest Beek*** Introducing Simon Cousins

I met Simon via an online Beek facebook forum and I remember very early on in our beekeeping 'career' driving up the freeway in peak hour traffic to collect our first swarm, madly messaging Simon, since it was the morning there, about what to do and his best tips! Over the years, we have exchanged laments about weather, information on our respective hive management, and eventually even honey!  I asked Simon to do a guest blog for Honey Month, and it may even be a semi regular thing as Simon does some very interesting queen rearing and breeding! Why did I start keeping bees ? I call my little honey operation Stour Valley Honey, ( not Stour Valley Apiaries who are...

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Monkey Bees...

I meet Beeks from all around the world - both in person when they have travelled, and also online. Some of the best hive management advise I have had was from fellow Beeks on line, and even though we haven't met, it's been great developing relationships and sharing knowledge about bees across the globe. I met a Beek from England recently at the Shop and he told me this story that I have to share with you all! So this Beek keeps bees in a designated organic area in the south of England in Dorset. His hives also happen to be within coo-wee of Monkey World. And yes, there is a real place called Monkey World (they rescue primates, rehabilitate...

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Springtime is Nearly Here!

The ladies are unimpressed with the rain this week. They were just starting to stretch their wings on the glorious weather we just had, basking in the warmth of the late winter sun and being a little feisty too. Now they are house bound again, they are looking out longingly past the rain, dreaming of the day they can fly again.  When it is too cold, wet or windy, the bees don't, can't fly. If it's cold, the energy required to keep in the air with full pollen baskets is too much and they fall short of the hive. Too windy or wet, similar problem- they can also get caught in crosswinds or get blown off course and lost. Once...

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First Split

Over the spring we noticed that our first ever hive, dubbed the very original name of 'Hive 1' was getting very full. As in VERY full. Even on the 'cooler days' there were bees all over the front of the hive, and at 2 full depth supers already on the brood box there was no way we were going to repeat the lunacy our first summer and go to 3 supers! As novice beekeepers we made the mistake of supering up, but failed to harvest at the same time, which lead to the problem of a huge summer hive with no space. Having read in the books about this magical solution, we added another super, then another... You get the...

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Collecting a Swarm - we know what we are doing...

TC got a call from a work colleague this afternoon - 'mate, you know something about bees, right? My friend has a hive in a tree, what should he do?' 'Why, call the crazy-bee-lady, of course!' We raced out to John Guilfoyle Beekeeping Supplies on the chance we may be going to get our first swarm...and told not to fall off the ladder when we do it! Heading off with a new super, bottom board and lid, we braved peak-hour traffic toward the suburb we may be required to be! While TC drove, I googled 'tips to collecting bee swarms'! Ten minutes later, I get a call from Mr L who says that he has a bee swarm in the...

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