We’re so lucky to have a honey beehive on the allotment! Luis moved one of his hives to our site earlier this year. He comes to inspect the bees every weekend, nice and early before everyone starts coming to work on their plots…
Luis has kindly given anyone on the allotment the opportunity to come down with him and tend to the bees. An experience I didn’t want to turn down…
The beehive is placed on my friend Hazel’s plot. Her allotment is full to the brim of beautiful wild flowers. Lots of food to be had for the busy bees!
So in we go… first, taking off the protective plastic cover. The bees had been working hard making the bees wax, I’ve kept what Luis scraped off the top of the frames! We then gave the bees a little bit of a smoke.
I was expecting woosh of bees to come flying out as we took the top off the hive, though the bees are very chilled out and docile. We heard a change in pitch of the buzz when the smoke came in (getting a little angry!) 🙂
Once the smoke had lightly dusted the bees, they soon moved down into the hive to have a feast on the honey. They weren’t at all bothered that we were there checking them out.
Luis takes out one of the frames to have a look. He let me have a hold… it was so heavy – full of delicious honey 😀
Next we went down another layer to the check on the brood. It was amazing, we ‘spotted’ the queen bee! Can you see her? she looks different to the other hard working bees… Luis marked her with a red dot! I’m so chuffed to have seen her!
We needed to check that the queen was still producing new bees, so we had a look… she’s still laying which is good. As soon as we’d disturbed the cells, the bees took the contents out to dispose of so the queen can lay more eggs.
Luis has the bees on medication for four weeks (we were on week two when I did the inspection last weekend). This it to protect them against mites and other pests that can affect them. He puts a piece of tin foil over it.
With the weather cooling down now, it’s time to start prepping the hive for winter. We added a syrup solution with vitamins to the top of the hive so the bees can feast on it.
It was such a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again. Stew was supposed to do it this weekend but we had to rearrange it. I’m sure he will love it as much as I did. Since learning more about bees this year, it was so great to be up close and personal with them. I hope they have enjoyed our wildflower patch 🙂 The allotment has certainly flourished with the bees and good weather.
If you want to look at more of the pictures I’ve taken I’m going to be adding them to my facebook page. Thanks to Luis the beekeeper for letting me see into the world of bees.
I’m literally buzzing 😀