The bees are alive!

The weather has been particularly warm this week and our bees have woken up from their winter cluster.


They have been eating all the honey they stored throughout the year to stay alive and the icing fondant that we have been giving them.


This is a very dangerous time of year however!

The bees are now moving around more and they therefore need more food. Unfortunately, there aren’t many flowers around at the moment and the ones that are don’t have a lot of nectar.

However, at the front of the school there are lots of crocuses and snowdrops. These provide a lot of pollen for the bees and if you look closely, you will see the bees foraging on them when its warm enough.


If you have any of these flowers in your garden, have a look and see if there are any of our bees foraging for nectar.


Oxalic acid treatment

Article 29 – education must develop the talents, abilities and personalities to the full.


Today some children from Primary 6/7 were giving the bees some medicine.


Oxalic acid kills the varroa mites that live on the bees and weaken them.

It doesn’t kill the bees. We use it at this time of year because the queen isn’t laying many eggs and the varroa mites aren’t inside the cells. This treatment should kill 99% of all the varroa mites in the hive and keep the hive healthy.

Article 24 – every child has the right to the best possible health.

The children were learning about how to safely protect themselves from the bees and how to behave around the bees to keep them calm and safe.

First we dressed and made sure that the bee suits were fully tucked in at the ankles and wrists. Very important to check our veils are fully zipped up.

We worked as a team to check each other was fully protected.

This group will then help the next group to safely protect themselves the next time we need to inspect the bees.


bees wax lip balm

As part of our Primary 6/7 and Primary7 honey and wax business, we have made coconut and beeswax lipbalm.

First, grate the beeswax to make it easier to melt.

Then mix with coconut oil and set in a bain marie.



When all the max is melted, use a pipette to transfer it into lip balm tubs.

Be careful not to heat it over 65 degrees, because then the wax will burn and discolour.

These will be on sale along with our honey, candles and necklaces when the shop opens!

Bees update

Our bees are tightly clustered for the winter months now.

We stole all of their winter food for our honey business but we fed them a mixture of sugar and water so that they are able to survive the winter.

We have also put icing fondant on the top of the hive so that they can access more food if they are hungry.

We have also placed mouse guards on the front to stop mice getting in and eating all the honey.

Hopefully both of our hives survive this winter!



Honey crop number 2

Today we were able to extract our second honey crop!

Every class in the school helped to prepare the frames to extract the honey using centrifugal force.

We filtered the honey to remove the wax cappings and any dead bee parts.

Finally, we put the wet frames and all the old wax out in the nature garden for the bees to clean up before we store it for the winter.


UNCRC articles

Article 28  – everyone has the right to an education

Article 24  – everyone has the right to good quality healthcare and nutritious food. 

Mrs Beelamy is alive and well

Summer update


The two beehives are doing really well and due to the excellent weather we have made lots of honey already!

Our new queen- Mrs BEElamy has hatched and mated and is laying eggs well now.

We were able to find her and mark her with a yellow dot so that she is easily found in case we need to move her to prevent swarming.


For the next few weeks, we just need to keep an eye on the bees to make sure that they have enough room for storing honey and enough space so that they don’t swarm.

Beekeeping Lesson

As part of a raffle competition last Autumn Louis from P5 won a beekeeping lesson with his Dad.

We went out to see if we could find the new queen yesterday after she hatched on Tuesday.


We couldn’t find her, but we will give her another week to grow full size and check again.


We did however, see something amazing which was our other Queen “Beeyonce number 2” laying an egg. This is very rare to see – check out the video below!


Finally, our new Queen also has a name.

this was chosen as part of a whole school competition and the winner was chosen by Millie from P1


The new Queen’s name is MRS BEELAMY!

update on two hives

Today, we inspected the new hive and the queen is doing really well!

The queen is laying lots of new eggs and building up our new hive. The other bees are taking good care of her and making sure there is enough nectar and pollen to feed the babies.

We also added some more bees from the other hive to make sure that there is enough bees in the hive.

Our other hive was a bit grumpy because we have now stolen the queen!They had built 10 new queen cells for new queens. These all have young larva in them and they are 4 days old. They will be born in 12 days hopefully.


If you look closely at the picture, you can see the white milky substance in the cell. This is Royal Jelly and is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. The Queen bee is twice the size of the worker bee, but grows 5 days quicker. The Queen takes 16 days and the worker takes 21.

We will check back in another few days and choose the biggest queen cell and remove all the other ones. This means that there is no risk of swarming when the new queens are born.


We will be running a competition in the school next week to name the new Queen Bee – so get thinking about names!

We have 2 hives now!

Today we were able to split our one hive into two new hives. This is so that we can grow a new queen and have more bees in case we lose any more in the winter.


It should also help stop the hives from swarming this year and then we won’t lose honey production.

This is the original hive. This hive now has no queen as we stole her to put her in the new hive. This hive still has:

  • almost all of the bees
  • all of the honey they have made this year
  • almost all of the baby bees, eggs and larva.
  • no queen

This hive will now create it’s own queen. we will check back in a few days to see how they are getting on with this.

This is hive number 2. This hive has:

  • the queen which we stole from hive number one
  • one frame of pollen
  • a couple of frames of honey for the bees to feed the babies on
  • only young bees less than 3 weeks old because all the old bees fly back to the old hive.
  • a feeder to feed them sugar syrup until the young bees start collecting their own nectar.


Check back in a week to see how hive 1 is getting on growing a new queen and how the queen in hive 2 is getting on starting a new colony.

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