St Joseph's Bee Team News
St Joseph's Bee Team was formed as part of the St Joseph's Action on Climate and the Environment project. Bees are vitally important for pollinating hundreds of plant species, including many crops. But they are under threat from loss of habitat and the increasing use of pesticides and herbicides.
Some of us have joined Reigate Beekeepers Association to enable us to access training to ensure we are able to look after our bees.
We are very grateful to have received donations of equipment and money to purchase equipment and our nuc of bees. A nuc, (short for “nucleus”), is a smaller colony of a few thousand bees. Just like any other, a nuc colony is centered around a queen, contains workers, drones, a brood, and honey.
New members are very welcome to join us, contact the Parish Office who will pass your details on to Julie McCullogh.
Two hives and stands for the hives had been kindly donated to us. Denzyl, Kasey, Julie, Michael, Tommy and Bernie emptied the old foundation (wax) from the frames, repaired and painted the hives.
New foundation was inserted into the frames and the site prepared for the hives.
The nuc was attached to the hive and the bees released to enable them to become accustomed to their new hive.
Queen Excluder - a physical barrier between the brood box and the honey super above. The excluder has holes just large enough for worker bees to pass through while blocking the larger queen bee. With the queen in the brood box, the honey super is free from brood meaning the honey can be taken without risk of brood cells being on the frames.
We purchased a nuc of bees (approximately 5,000 bees with a queen) which arrived this week.
Assembling the hive.
Moving the frames from the nuc box to the hive P1 and P2.
Friday 13th August 2021
We visited the bees to check how they were settling in. We were surprised that they had finished all of the syrup mix we had left them. We left them more while they are settling in.
We checked the base board which would evidence if there were any mites present. We noticed a few dead bees, we wondered if they had got in through the gap and were unable to get back out so we have secured the base board to ensure bees would not be able to get in.
We had the smoker ready to calm them down when we opened the hive, but they were so calm we didn't need to use it. We found some queen cells were being built so we removed these as we only need one queen, another queen would mean the bees would swarm and leave the hive to follow the new queen. Bees were guarding the entrance to prevent intruders entering. We noticed a drone trying to get in but the bees were preventing him. This could the bees controlling the amount of drones in the hive as their purpose is only to mate with the queen and having too many drones would use up their food supply (especially during winter months) or it could have been an 'outsider' drone trying to get in.