When uniting goes wrong

A swarm turned up in a bait hive built from two Paradise/ModernBeekeeping poly supers a month ago. The bees were steady on the comb and the dark queen was laying reasonably well. In the same apiary I had a failing queen in a colony in a double brood box so decided to unite them with the swarm. […]

Tim Toady

Synopsis : The large number of beekeeping methods is both a benefit and – for beginners particularly – a distraction. Learn methods well enough to be confident when you apply them. Understand why they work and their pros and cons. Introduction In an earlier life as a junior academic I was generously given a crushingly […]

Mini-nucs: tips and tricks

Synopsis : More discussion of modifying and maintaining mini-nucs for queen mating; judging queen quality, repeat queen mating, season’s end and overwintering mini-nucs. Introduction A couple of weeks ago I described some of the basics of using mini-nucs for queen mating. I’ll try and avoid overlaps with that post in the following discussion of ‘tips […]

And then there was calm

Synopsis : The rush and bustle of the first half of the season is over and things are calming down. Time to reflect on some aspects of the season so far, and the importance of keeping good hive records. Introduction Over the past few seasons I’ve noticed that there is an inflexion point in the […]

The bee bag

Synopsis: Preparing for the season ahead should include making sure you have everything you need in the bee bag for apiary visits, but that you are not carrying things you never use. A place for everything, and everything in its place … at least until swarming starts. Introduction I think there’s sometimes a misconception that […]