I hope many people will come to Art in Action this year in Oxford.After 40 years It is their last year.
The Natural Beekeeping Trust will be there and I am delighted to have been asked join them with my log and Freedom hives. I have had amazing results this year with the bees choosing to move in to the hives . The scouts have shown a preference for these hives over other designs.
Normally at this time of year, there would be a lot of activity at the hive entrance as the bees would be enjoying the Spring nectar flow, and the population would be growing fast. Not this year. As for the last few months it has been unusually cold and windy which has kept a lot of the bees inside. I do not supplementary feed the bees, so only the strongest colonies survive.I removed the base to look up and could see a small group of bees between the combs. It was also re-assuring to see bees bringing pollen back so hopefully they will be OK.
The base board was quite dry with a few dead bees. It looks like one or two show signs of DWV but I could only see one or two Varroa mites. Wax cappings are visible as well as pollen and a few ants.
Autumn update 2016
The bees did survive the cold late Spring and when I open the base again in October, it was a relief to see how well they had done.
This Post follows the natural growth of a colony inside a log and any other observations.
1st June 2015
The swarm was a strong local swarm of dark bees. After bringing them back to the log at dusk they rested overnight and the bees were introduced to the log early the next morning. The main part of cluster was put into the top, where it fell on to some newspaper pinned to the top spales. This prevented them all dropping to bottom with the possibility of damaging the queen.