Yesterday the sun was shining and it was just above 16 degrees so I decided to go and have a look at the bees to see if the Bailey Comb Change had worked.
I first checked the new brood box to make sure the queen was still there and laying and indeed she was. A wealth of brood on 4 frames and surrounded by her dutiful nurse bees-a-plenty. I very carefully lifted both the old brood box and new one together to one side, leaving the floor in its original place. I then placed the new brood box on top of the floor and popped the queen excluder on top just to make sure she didn’t fly off. I went through the old brood box to check that all the brood had been born and to make sure they hadn’t turned any of the eggs in to queen cells, which they can do, it happened to a couple of friends of mine. They went in to check their boxes and there was a queen in both! Fortunately that hadn’t happened to me, although not a complete disaster, you would just have to split the hives, but more hard work.. The picture below is of me shaking the bees from the old brood box in to the new one. Once that was done, I replaced the queen excluder and because of the amount of bees that would now be in the new brood box I popped a super with frames on the top to make sure they have enough space and are not tempted to swarm. So all in all that has been a perfect Bailey Comb Change and I could not be more thrilled to be starting the honeybee year with a strong colony of bees.
When I’m at schools one of the most asked questions is “Do you get stung?” I always tell the children and anyone who asks the truth, the answer is very rarely. Honeybees do not like to sting you because they die. If you go to my Betsie Valentine Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/betsievalentine/videos/577337936109096/?modal=admin_todo_tour you can see the video of me shaking the bees from one box to another and you can hear and see the amount of bees that were flying around. Of course they weren’t happy, I was completely disrupting their hives BUT I did not get stung, not once, during the whole procedure so I think this answers the question very well don’t you?
I am delighted to have been asked to go on Mimi Harker’s radio show for Wycombe Sound 106 fm. I am going in on Good Friday to record the show and it will be aired on Easter Sunday between 12:00 and 1:00 on “Mimi Meets” She has asked me to choose three records that mean something to me, so if you want to find out what they are and why do tune in and listen! We will also, of course, be talking all things Honeybees and Betsie Valentine.
Tomorrow I am off to Shropshire to the BBKA SPRING CONVENTION. I will be on the Northern Books stand if anyone is in the vicinity and would like to come and chat. I am also doing a 15 minute speakers corner called “Meet Betsie Valentine!”
So another busy week comes to a close. Hopefully next week a new colony of bees will be arriving to joint my other hive and the season can really get going as the weather gets warmer. Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend.