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Saturday afternoon found Keith Osborn and your scribe at the beautiful rural setting Andy Scarlett chose to locate his beehives. It was like a “raid by the Southern” as we strode through the long grass from the carpark up the field to where the Apiary meeting was well on its way.

 

 

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Whilst the knowledgeable beekeepers went about their task, looking for queens, squishing some swarm cells, whilst moving frames with others to queenless colonies, there was much else to captivate and interest newcomers and novices.

 

Such as seeing a drone emerge from his cell – probably happier than his brothers who had been rudely ejected from adjoining cells when the frame was removed. (Harry explained that often drone cells are built on the bottom of the frames and if braced to the structure below will inevitably lead to cell damage when the frame is removed!)

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And how quickly the workers clean out the detritus that spreads around when these cells break. Such as larvae fallen from their cells – seen here being swiftly removed and dropped over the edge of the landing board; great food for the birds!

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Or, the sign of a queenless colony – the drone-laying worker pattern of spotty drone cells. (Will be interesting to see over time whether the steps taken to re-queen work!)P1080102

And blackbees to set the pulses racing! Surely as good as any hives inspected by Roger Patterson on his recent visit. Black and docile! And, hopefully, bountiful!P1080096

Many thanks to Western Beekeepers for the arrangements, to Andy for inviting us to visit his hives and especially to Catherine for the warming teas, coffees and shortbread that refreshed after the afternoon at the apiary.

 

2 Responses to Western Apiary Meeting has lots to interest the novice beekeeper

  1. Phil says:

    Interesting pictures Johnny, I’m sorry that I didn’t manage to attend that day.

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