bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Slow spring, fast ladies

It’s a slow spring in Southern England this year. I opened up my hives for the first time today — about two weeks later than usual and in weather that was really too cold to be disturbing their home. But of course the bees had coped and somehow, in the miserable March we’ve just had, they managed to bring in quite a bit of fresh nectar.

My main objective was to remove a queen whose genes I didn’t want perpetuated this year. The colony had been very stroppy last autumn and even during winter external inspections. Today of course they were as good as gold. But I'm afraid I wasn't going to give the queen a reprieve. I didn’t want her drones around this year (and thankfully she hadn’t produced any yet). So out she came. I’ll wait until the colony makes queen cells — remove those and then give it a fresh frame of eggs from different progeny to make its new — more sociable — monarch.


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