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Oct 04

October – Hydref

The bees have been revitalised with the unseasonable hot weather at the end of September.They have been making hay whilst the sun shines. It also encouraged Stef and me to don our bee suits and inspect our hives. Our first four colonies are doing well and they seem to be making good progress to accumulating enough stores for overwintering. We will continue to feed them as the local Ivy will not give them enough nectar.

Colony #5 is the one which we united with the final caste swarm. This seems to have worked and the united bees are working together to collect nectar and to take down the strong sugar syrup that we are giving them. Colony #6 is a mystery. It seems to be just as active as the others but has not done anything in the super. We have treated it with Apiguard and they are refusing to take any sugar syrup down (unlike the other colonies). Will start feeding them again next week to ensure they don’t starve during the winter.

On Sunday I joined the hive inspection at Pontlliw. Ade demonstrated his technique of uniting a Queenright nucleus with a Queenless colony. The colony were shaken off their frames onto newspaper and the nucleus frames put into the brood chamber along with any frames, broodless but with stores, from the original colony. Ade then made a ramp for the shaken bees to climb back into the colony which along with a lot of fanning (or fanfare?) the original occupants proceeded to do. No-one knows why the two colonies accept each other straight away without fighting. Just another mystery of beekeeping!