Jonny and I are having a lot of fun with our bees this year. I remember last year being nervous about things going wrong, about being stung, and all sorts of things. It was fun, but it wasn’t laid back fun. This year is different. I’m not worried about anything. That is, even though everything hasn’t worked out exactly perfectly. See the hive above on the right? We’re calling that one Candleford again. And the one of the left is Lark Rise. Here’s what happened: Remember that video I posted of all the bees pouring into Candleford the day we installed them? That was really cool. However, we soon realized that most of the bees from both packages joined in, leaving Lark Rise a rather pitiful little colony.
Here’s a photo of the entrance to Candleford. The bees are busy and there is lots of activity. There’s a short little video below to give you a better idea:
And here’s a little video of what’s going on at the entrance of Lark Rise: Not much.
You can see pretty much all of the Lark Rise bees in this photo. They are all clustered on a handful of frames, carrying for the small amount of brood that they can manage.
They do have a laying queen, and actually that is her at the bottom of this frame. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough bees to care for all the eggs she is laying and many are just drying up. But, they have a little capped brood of their own about to emerge, and we have given them a frame full of capped brood from the stronger Candleford hive, and will probably grab another in the next week or two. Soon those new bees will be emerging and Lark Rise will have a better work force. Making these little maneuvers, we are hoping to give them the boost they need to get going. It will be so much fun to see if this works out. Hopefully we will end up with two strong hives of bees this year.
Finally, Here’s a video of a bee in the crimson clover. When I shared photos of the clover earlier this week, the bees weren’t taking too much interest in it yet. They wait until it reaches a certain point, and then they descend and there are a buzzing bunch of bees in the clover patch. I like to sit an watch them.