Two bee or not two bee (hives)
There has been a bit of excitement with The Spinney bees. I was staring out the window last week when I heard a loud buzzing sound and a swarm of bees flew past. Being slightly slow, I thought it was interesting and then later asked Terry the bee man if it was important. He arrived the next morning to check but from the number of bees still in the hive it was unlikely to have been a revolt against the Spinney queen. Apparently the workers decide if they have had enough of the queen and she is ejected from the hive with some workers accompanying her to find a new abode. Inquiries around the village failed to find the swarm. However Terry inspected the hive and found 3 new queen cells. He had very kindly lent me a bee keepers hat and veil so I felt very important and was able to watch the proceedings. We set off to Loxhore (on the opposite hillside) where Terry had a spare hive.
On return, one of the frames containing a queen cell was carefully put into the new hive along with a large number of workers. The bees were remarkably passive, busy working. I only had one or two come over to check me out, landing and smelling but then returning to duties.
I now have two hives. One seems very quiet. I think most of the bees that could return to the old hive have but there are a few flying into the new one. It will take a few weeks for the new queen to hatch and the workers that were in the frame to hatch and then begin to populate the hive. Normally they spend another 3 weeks or so maturing after hatching before they begin to fly out but with the lack of mature workers, they are likely to begin to fly a little earlier. They have food and water in the hive which Terry is regularly replenishing, but for now we are now waiting – will there be two bee hives at The Spinney or not?