I took some film last saturday of midday bees working very hard on mainly chestnut, bramble and thistle flowers and wanted you to see just how busy it gets at the entrance to a hive.
I artificially swarmed 3 of my hives just after I took this video. I wanted to make a couple more colonies for next year as I still have not got my own numbers of hives at my apiary up to 12 hives. I got rid of a few swarms in the spring and was relying on having some decent weather to precipitate sucessful mating of virgin queens to re queen colonies that had swarmed, but that just did not happen this year. So I have learned that lesson well. Never rely on bees to requeen themselves if the weather is poor!
The colonies that I have hopefully created last saturday, will remain in the same nucs for the whole of the forthcoming winter and if they are queen right in the next month they will have enough time to prepare themselves for the forthcoming winter. I will feed them generously over the next few days as very soon the main nectar flow stops, leaving only a few shrubs and plants in flower.
The honey that the bees have been gathering in haste is now being dried and capped, when it is judged by the bees to contain the right amount of sugar and water. Not too much water to allow it to ferment, but not too much sugar to let the sugar solidify and become more difficult to extract over the winter when the need arises.
I will be harvesting the honey crop on or very close to the end of August.
I was doing some surfing on u tube last week and found this wonderful insight in to the virtually extinct method of beekeeping.
It is actually a very well filmed and informative series of films, explaining in quite detail, the work at the skep aipary. It incredible just how labour intensive it is! The hours are very long and the rewards don`t seem to justify the work put in, but I think if you trained there, you would certainly know you bees well!
There are 7 films in total , this being the first one. you should be able to follow the link afterwards to the next 6, It is worth a look.
I love the naration, so wonderfully like Pathe news from the 1940`s and 50`s. Enjoy!