Friday, 21 August 2015

Gatsbees B-Log: July 2015


‘Look girls’, I said,

Crocosmia 'lucifer'(non-invasive type of Montbretia)

it’s the end of July


and I’m all beed out.


Too many swarms. Too many colonies.


Next time I go to the apiary and see a swarm


I’m going to ignore it……….


let it fly away and find itself a new home………..


Oh!
Lavandular angustifolia

Sort yourselves out, I’m going home...

Helenium 'Moorheim Beauty'

to do some gardening!


I’m back now, and you’re still there? OK, same routine; shake into box, check!


Girls fanning to send out location with their 'Nasonov' gland pheromone, check!


Bees going into hive?

Rachel: front-line photographer
Check!

Tom and myself checking on the new colony

Sometimes the bees freestyle with their comb if they’re not properly contained in the hive -


properly for us, that is, not them...


so we have to rearrange their perfectly air conditioned house if we don’t want them to permanently jam themselves in, normally using elastic bands (but airfield tape will do in an emergency),


which they chew off


while they attach the comb properly to the frame


and we remove the remaining tape asap.
Anybody spotted the queen above? A puzzle because she’s a mated queen and I couldn’t think where she’d come from...


until I found the other nucleus box empty, because they’d decided that wasn’t where they wanted to live!

Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum)

Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)


Going back to this photo from earlier...


I thought you might like to see a close up of this row of tiny claws supporting the weight of the cluster. Remarkable!


I can only guess that they clustered like this because the hive was too full of bees, so I gave them a super with empty frames for a bit of space and something to do. Spoilsport!

Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia tithonus), because we support all Gatwick pollinators!

Gillybee x