Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby.If you're interested in finding out more then please get in touch.
I have kept bees since July 2012 and manage about 6 colonies usually. I have taken my General Husbandry assessment and will be taking the Advanced husbandry as soon as possible. This has been delayed due to Coronavirus.
Bees live in a colony. Honeybees do not hibernate like all other bees. They start building up in Spring and usually in May they get the urge to swarm. That means the colony is reproducing and the existing queen takes about half the bees away.The remaining bees wait for their new queen to emerge and she has to be mated with drones outside of the hive. This is a tricky time for a colony, as there are many perils that can stop the new queen being mated successfully. Bad weather or predation by birds like swallows can mean the queen doesn't return.
Usually she does though and she returns to start laying eggs in her colony and the colony builds up again ready for winter.
This is a frame of bee
There are 11 frames like this in the 'brood' box of the hive. This is where the queen lays eggs which hatch into larvae. The larvae are fed and then pupate and turn into adult bees. Worker bees emerge 21 days after the egg was laid.
This is a queen bee
She is marked with a colour to indicate her age
The digestive colour are lids on honeycomb cells which have larvae in which are pupating. The adult bees emerge by chewing open the cell.
Poached egg plant is very popular with honeybees
This is not a honeybee!
down into the hive, showing mesh floor at bottom
Not my bees
Another beekeeper inspecting their bees