Thursday 17 May 2012


As the weather looked fairly decent this morning I made the decision to move the nuc hive out of my garden and transfer the bees into the 3' tbh. At 0745 the sock was stuffed into the entrance, the hive wrapped up in a dust sheet and placed in the van ready for their fifteen mile ride.

 Due to the heavy rain lately the track is too muddy to drive down which meant a 300m walk with the hive and gear down to the boat. I'm not sure if the cows were interested in me or the bees, but I hoped there were no bulls eyeing up my red cylinder tank jacked!

The recent flood had receded but the flotsam had been dumped directly on top of my jetty. I decided to clamber over the top of it all with the hive rather than try to move it and become lathered in mud before I started with the bees.

As I unwrapped the nuc hive and the unhappy bees made their escape I came across my first problem. Boyd's 17" top bars are about 20mm longer than my 17" top bars! I should have remembered this from when we did the split five weeks ago. Luckily I swapped onto the mark two tbh on which the lid fits a little more loosely :-) The process went quite well and the bees were in their new home within twenty minutes.

Here are some pictures of the comb. Any observations welcome!

I left them for about three hours while I did some other jobs. Afterwards they seemed quite calm and a handfull were buzzing around. I don't think they had worked out where the entrance was yet. My only concern was that the actual number of bees in the colony didn't seem that big, probably only high hundreds. I'm not sure if there is a critical mass that's needed for the colony to survive?


  1. Hi Shane
    Glad that you felt able to do the job yourself, and excellent photographs, but I have a bad feeling about this. It looks as if this lillte nucleus has built some new comb, which is good, but there appears to be very little stored honey (Picture 1) and almost no brood (apart from a very few cells in Picture 2). I remember saying to you at the time of the split that it will take about six weeks before we know if it has been successfull and sadly I fear that it is almost at the point where this colony will just fade away! Obviously I will help you out as much as I can by giving you more bees and comb, but the weather needs to improve before we can do it; I suspect that when we do get an oppotunity the hive will be empty. Unfortunately not a brilliant result, but hopefully we have both learnt something from it, and we can try again.


  2. Boyd ,
    good morning .....good to keep hearing how things are going ...I keep reading the blog and just now I really wanted to reply to Shanes photos but I dont know which "profile" to click on .......probably I am doing something wrong as I am not clever with computers I cannot submit a reply ....sadly , as you say there are simply not enough bees , I was hoping to ask Shane if he had spotted the queen ......and to suggest that if there were once many more bees perhaps they had infact swarmed just before his relocation activity

    must go to work , but at the end of the day I am planning , if the sun is out , to go and watch my hives for a while ....apparetly there are lots of swarms about but not so in Market Harborough ......

    best wishes ,