23rd January. First visit of the year. It was a warm day. briefly getting to 12 degrees centigrade and the bees were flying -Click here to see video
17th February. Bees flying taking pollen in - willow, snowdrops and aconites in flower - Click here to see video
10th March. The weather has warmed up again and the bees are busy collecting pollen. Mousegard removed. - Click here to see video
14th March. My car dashboard said 14 degrees - the warmest day of the year so far. This hive has a solid floor and solid floors can get damp and dirty over a winter so a quick scrape clean was required. I moved the super up from under the brood box and put it on top. -Click here to see video
7th April. A calm warm sunny day. Just right for a first inspection. Queen seen unmarked. -Click here to see video
21st April. We have a had week with some exceptionally (for the time of year) hot days in it. The heat has affected the spare frames of stores in the top brood box and for the first time the bees were up there when I opened the hive. Queen found and marked. One frame of unwired drone brood put in -Click here to see video
7th May. We have had some extremely hot weather for this time of the year and today was a very hot day too. I had intended to remove the frame of drone brood this visit but far from being capped it hadn't even been fully drawn out or laid in. On inspection the queen had just moved into the super to lay. I returned her to the brood box. Is this restriction of the queen a good thing? I'm not so sure - if she wants move up should she not be allowed to? The general brood pattern is not good - is this the effect of Varroa? Or are there other issues with the brood apart from Varroa? Chalk Brood? Or Sac Brood?Click here to see video
17th May. Ten days since my last visit and although there were patches of warm sunshine there was a constant cold wild blowing from the North so I didn't stay in the brood box for too long. I took out the frame of droan brood foundation that far from fully laid and capped had a small amount of drone brood for me to test.Click here to see video
Drone brood test. There was little enough drone brood to uncap - but enough to find a considerable number of mites. I think that the mite load is too high now for the bees to be expected to make a reasonable honey crop this season. That is if the bees are left to their own devices. Now would be a good time to remove all of their brood again whilst they still have stores to use for making new wax Click here to see video

Hive Details

  • Brood box: - Standard National
  • Queen - 2014 - replaced with daughter 2017
  • Type of bees: - Norfolk Mongrels?
  • Make honey? - Yes, but not the best honey makers by comparrison
  • Temperament? - Easy to handle on a good day
  • Swarming? - Not especially swarmy
  • Queen? - Seen umarked 7/4/18. Marked 21st April - yellow