Canalside Heritage Centre

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April at the CHC Apiary

As spring approaches, we take a look at our colony of bees and prepare for the summer months.


Posted 8th Apr

Here at the CHC apiary we’ve been monitoring the hive over the winter and witnessing the occasional flying bee, and checking they had enough food stores.  Now with the temperature in our sunny garden spot approaching 14 degrees centigrade we opened up the bee hive for the first time to have a look at how our small colony of honey bees had coped with the harsh winter months.

The feelings before a first hive inspection are a combination of nerves and excitement and anticipation of what you will find.

What we found was a small active bee colony, but unfortunately we couldn’t find the Queen (who is marked with a dot on her thorax for easy identification). There was also no sign of brood cells which would indicate the Queen is alive and laying the new season’s bees.

This was all very disappointing as without an active Queen, the colony will eventually die, so later that week at our Beeston Beekeepers meeting (held in the CHC Tearoom) we discussed our colony’s plight.

Fellow beekeeper Tim said he’d got a small nuc (the name for a small colony complete with Queen) that he was prepared to give us.

So we now have a positive plan:

  1. When its warm enough again we’ll give the hive a further check to see one last time that there’s no Queen.
  2. Bring Tim’s new nuc over and place them on the hive to get them used to their new location.
  3. Once they’ve settled in we’ll pop the new bees into the old hive with what remains of the old colony and hopefully the Queen will flourish and start growing the colony.

We’ll give another update asap on how we get on.


The CHC Apiary Team

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