Episode 113: Sunny Days, Egg Laying Workers and Queen Rearing Plans


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Hi, I’m Stewart Spinks and welcome to Episode 113 of my podcast, Beekeeping Short and Sweet, Honey Extraction has begun, the sun continues to shine, we start moving bees back to Summer sites this weekend and my queen rearing plans kick in next week.
I’m grateful to Honey Paw hives for sponsoring in part our podcasts for this season. Honey Paw hives are, as I’m sure you’re aware, Poly Langstroth hives and we’re setting up an apiary full of their hives this season courtesy of Honey Paw. Check out their range of hives and other equipment on their website, I’ll leave a link to their website in the show notes as usual.

Honey Paw Hives - Designed by Beekeepers, For Beekeepers.

Welcome back to the podcast, it’s been an exciting week of beekeeping with a few “Heart in Mouth” moments with the new queens I was introducing last week. Work continues at the new unit to get everything organised and I’ve got a few very busy nights ahead of me moving bees off the Oilseed Rape and back to their Summer apiaries.

So last week you’ll recall I was introducing those new queens in cages into the newly created nucs, well on Saturday I went back to the 14x12 apiary to have a sneaky peek into the nuc boxes before shooting a video this week. I’m glad to say everything worked really well. I had intended to check on just a couple of nucs to see if the queens had been released but then got carried away and checked them all. I think we had about 14 or 15 caged queens at this apiary, I can’t quite remember, anyway, they had all been released and were all alive and well. I saw each and every one of them which is a bit of a rarity but it worked out nicely. Of the 14 or however many it is, I saw eggs in all but three nucs. I’m hoping the last three queens will start laying in due course and that when I go back to inspect them again I’ll have a 100% introduction success rate. The queen cages actually worked really well, I have to say, I was a little nervous at seeing the workers head out of the escape tab and then watched the queen as she also tried to force herself through the narrow gap. But, the design worked great and the bees in the nucs chewed through the fondant and released the queens in textbook fashion. I still have to go over to the Alpaca farm to check on the nucs I created there, those are the ones that give me the greatest concern, they’re the ones I made up from frames straight out of a queenright colony and then put the caged queen straight in. I do still think I’ve made a blunder there but who knows, maybe it will all be just fine.

We’ve had no rain at all in the last week and some very sunny, warm days. While I was at the Alpaca farm the farm owner stopped for a chat and said that a couple of her alpaca’s had been stung because bees were congregating around the water troughs where the alpacas get their drinking water from and it occurred to me to mention today that water is an essential part of colony life in a beehive and it would be prudent to make sure your bees have access to a decent supply of water to use. It appears right now they are using it to cool hives such are the daytime temperatures. If you evaporate water you get a corresponding drop in temperature on the surface where the water was and that can have the effect of keeping daytime brood box temperatures down and avoids the brood nest from overheating..............

Well, that’s it for this week, Thanks for hanging around until the end of the podcast and keep the comments coming.

I’m Stewart Spinks

And that was Beekeeping Short and Sweet

156 episodes