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Monday 18 June 2012: Bee Keeping

I had a bee keepng morning. It's the first time I've opened the hive properly since the bee's moved in. I give them sugar syrup every couple of days but they suck it out of a jar through a hole in the the frame cover.

The little coloney hasn't expanded quite as much as I would like but, the weather hasn't been good so the bee's haven't been able to go out and forage as much as they would normally at this time of year.

I took quite a few photographs, not just for my blip but I can blow up the images to see varroa mite clinging to the bee's. My reason for going in today was to give them a tray of Apiguard, a substance called thymol, derived from Thyme, that is all you can really do to try and protect the bees from the mites. It's not nice stuff, the bee's don't like it and if the temperatures are too low it can stop the queen from laying for a while.

I need the queen to lay as many eggs as possible to increase the colony. The queen doesn't actually direct the colony as one might think. She is effectively there only to produce eggs and can lay as many as 2,000 a day, if she is kept well fed and has mated well during her one mating flight.

I'll blip the mites one day and tell you more about them.

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