This Autumn, I ran another course in log hive making. It was a great success and hopefully, they will all be up high for the bees to find next Spring. More information on log hive making can be seen in the earlier post.
Log hive courses are being planned for 2018 in Ireland, Spain, Cornwall and Hampshire.
More details to follow soon.
A swarm of bees, collected in a woven straw skep was tipped on a sheet covered ramp and the bees soon ran into a Golden hive.
After a few weeks, I checked the colony to see whether it needed any more combs. This is a 13 deep frame hive and initially, the size is kept to 8 frames using a dividing board.
By lifting the edge of the top cloth it is possible to look at the last frame without disturbing the main colony. If I see any comb growth, I add another frame. When there is an abundance of flowers comb growth is rapid and frames added every week.
This year was relatively quiet for swarms, but I was lucky enough to be in the orchard when a beautiful swarm erupted from a Freedom hive. This landed on a nearby apple tree and I was able to catch it and then the following day, transfer to a Golden hive.
Over the last few years, I have been placing Freedom and log hives locally on farms with the intention of creating a community of bees which are healthy and able to live without our intervention. Aswell as providing strong drones, I would hopefully be able to catch swarms to use in other types of hives. In remote locations, the easiest way of doing this is with a bait hive. This is a box of approx 40l with a small entrance hole. I place a few drops of lemon grass at the entrance to attract scout bees. The gallery below describes this in detail.