It is the peak of summer and the garden is humming with the sounds of bees gathering nectar and pollen. The trees and bushes and flowerbeds are bursting with colour, and we are convinced that keeping bees has transformed our garden, increasing exponentially the number of flowers and fruit hanging on every branch.
Today, upon hearing that one of our hives had grown too strong, with high honey flow and a shortage of frames, panic ensued and “The Frame Maker” had to be called in. My Granddaughter Holly, to be more precise. Fresh from her school Sports Day, Holly came to the rescue and put what energy she had left into making 10 frames and a Super box with her Grandad. Within a few hours, the crisis was averted; and in the words of The Frame Maker – “The Bee TVs Are Done!”
Today we harvested our first batch of spring honey – 4 frames of beautiful golden capped honey. They came from our very productive hive which is full of bees: both house bees (tasked with cleaning the hives, feeding the queen and the brood and building honey comb) and also forager bees (tasked with going out to bring back nectar and pollen and propolis.) While these bees are very industrious, they are also quite mean, and so we have to work quickly as they don’t like us disturbing them, and will make quite a roar as we work through the hive, sometimes dive-bombing our bee-suits to make us go away!
The Hamilton Terrace hives are buzzing!
After a cold spring, and a few false starts, the hives are now established, and the bees are focused on building comb in which the queen will lay eggs, and also to store pollen and honey for the hive.
We have one hive which is bustling with activity: the bees come tumbling out in waves and they have been producing so much honey, we keep having to add layers of new foundation comb for them. In our other hives, the queens look tired and so we are in the process of re-queening them to ensure a robust queen, and strong brood through the season and into the winter months.