It’s been World Bee Day today!  Have you spread the word?  Did you post any photos or videos on social media?  Take a look at the Lego Hive that was posted on our Facebook page?

Have you had to take any swarm prevention measures yet?  

The busy, frenetic activity outside one of our large colonies was disconcerting to say the least, so that was it - nucs at the ready and boxes apart for a full inspection!  

If a colony is -Q the bees have little to do while waiting for a new Queen other than to prepare the cells and collect plenty of stores and pollen in readiness.  So while the colony is going through this waiting period, make sure they have sufficient space to store nectar while ensuring there is plenty of space for their new Queen to lay.  

It is a good time to give them a mixture of drawn comb for storage, and foundation (to draw out).  This will provide you the opportunity at a later stage of disposing of any old comb that was taken from the original colony and replacing it with nicely drawn or extracted comb. 

When creating a nuc make sure you add PLENTY of bees and sealed brood, larvae and eggs.  This small nucleus of bees will be without eggs being laid for some time, so add many more bees.  If you ask yourself “Is that enough?” then probably it isn’t. 

Extra nuc boxes can be added on top of each other, effectively replicating what you would do with a full size colony.  

Looking ahead - when preparing for winter we have found a ‘double nuc’ to be an excellent way to overwinter bees resulting in a good size colony in the spring.  We also like to reduce our full colonies from 10 to 8 frames per box, with a follower board at each edge, whether overwintering in single or double brood boxes.

If it isn’t easy or cost effective to exchange your wax for foundation, why not have a try at making your own foundation this year?  Our booklet is downloadable and gives full details on how to make a Foundation Press and Wiring Board.   Downloading is instant so you can be setting this up within minutes of purchase - no waiting for the post!




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