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.
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.
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!