We have been very vigilant over the last few years to make sure that our bees have been unable to swarm.
However we (I) made a few amateur mistakes this year. The main one was that I left more than one queen cell in the bee hive which means that when the first queen hatches she can swarm with some of the bees. This is called a “cast swarm”.
Fortunately we spotted that the bees were swarming and were able to hunt them down and catch them.
This was was the first time we have caught a swarm so messed it up a bit but got lucky and the bees liked the new home we moved them into and are happy there.
We we will move them into a full sized hive soon which was bought for us generously by Mr McMullan snr who is our main beekeeping mentor.
Enjoy the video and remember if you see a swarm of bees call Mr McMullan and he will come hunt them down!
every child has the right to good health. Governments should ensure children have good healthcare, clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment.
We performed a check on the bee hives today and we have some interesting news.
One of the hives is doing so well that we need to stop it from swarming.
Swarming is the natural way that bees reproduce. The queen leaves with half of the bees to set up a new hive and the other half stay behind and grow a new queen.
We don’t want this to happen because then we would lose all of workers who make all the honey!
We are going to perform an artificial swarm which is where we remove the queen from the hive and put her in a new hive with a few of the bees to look after her. She will then start to lay eggs and build up a new hive. The old hive will notice she has left within 15 minutes because they can no longer smell the queen. They will then start to create new queens. We will choose the biggest and strongest queen in the new hive to survive and hopefully she gets mated.
For a video on how this works click below!
Keep checking the blog in the next few weeks to see what happens with this process!
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.