Border Bees Diary

Diary of a Beekeeper in the Scottish Borders

Archive for March, 2009

First Inspection – March 19th 2009

Posted by borderglider on March 19, 2009

March 18th and 19th have been warm and sunny – with a cool breeze – but in sheltered spots like my apairy the temperature has been above 15 degrees C – so it felt safe to open up my hives. I was pleased to see a queen in both hives and several frames full of eggs with larvae in various stages of development. However, there was very little sealed brood and the vast majority of the cells had eggs only one day old – so it looks like yesterdays warm weather really was the trigger for a step-change in egg-laying by the queens.  So, although I have been feeding the bees with generous amounts of syrup for the last week – and semi-solid sugar for the previous three weeks – it has not resulted in the queens laying lots of eggs.  There was very little pollen about until the last week – mainly snowdrops – but since the air temperature was so cool they have not been able to fly out to harvest the pollen.  It was interesting to see that they have actually been consuming the pollen substitute that I fed them a couple of weeks ago – but it looks like they have only begun to use it in the last week or so

pollen-substitute

Bees eating pollen substitute above the brood nest

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first-eggs-and-brood-march-19th-2009

first-eggs-and-brood-march-19th-2009

Larvae and Sealed Brood - 19th March 2009

Larvae and Sealed Brood - 19th March 2009

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Biology of the Black Bee of Northern Europe

Posted by borderglider on March 9, 2009

Hubert Guerriat is a biologist and beekeeper who lives in South Hainault, Belgium.  For thirty years he has been working to conserve and improve the native black bee of Belgium, Apis Mellifera mellifera, and he has an interesting website – mostly in French at http://www.mellifica.be/en/livre/

You can read his article at the link below.

biology-of-the-black-bee

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