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Honey Extraction Day and News

It is that time of year We our Honey extraction day

Today in school we were learning how to extract the honey from the frames we did this with every class.

Top Tips

  • Don’t spin the extractor too fast
  • Always dry your knife
  • Don’t cut too deep into the frame
  • Cover the floor in paper

Steps on how to extract honey

  • clean everything
  • check taps are closed twice
  • boil kettle
  • cut off wax
  • take frame and put it in the extractor
  • start spinning it
  • go a bit faster
  • flip frames twice
  • stop spinning
  • tip honey into settling tank and sieve it in

With these skills we were able to make and drain the honey.👍🏻

Great work from every class!

Article 24: Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being.

We are happy to announce that we are starting a Jam business, there is going to be bramble, rhubarb , plumb and apple jelly!

 

 

Swarming mystery

we’ve had a very unusual occurrence.

 

The queen which swarmed from the old hive and we caught and put out in a new hive went missing.

We had no idea where she went until we looked in the original hive where she was from and hey presto there she was.

 

Shes left all the old bees behind and gone back home. The new bees seem to have accepted her but we will need to wait and see as they usually wouldn’t accept a new queen being introduced!

check back in a week or so to find out if there is an answer to this mystery!

Our first ever swarm!

 

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!

Artificial Swarm and Pupil’s inspections

Article 29 – Education must develop the talents and personality of all children to the fullest.

Article 24 – every child has the right to a clean and safe environment.

We have been working hard learning how to inspect the bees.

We have learned about Safety equipment, tools and how to handle the bees gently.

We also know what to look for when we inspect the hive.

Yesterday we performed an artificial swarm with the bees to stop them swarming. This means that we now have three hives!

 

Here is a video to show you how we did it

 

Swarm imminent!

 

Article 24

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!

First beekeeping inspection of the year

Today we opened the bee hives for the first time this year and were delighted to see that they are both alive and well

 

one hive in particular is very strong and full of bees so hopefully we will get a great crop of honey this year.

 

The bees have stored lots of pollen from the spring flowers.

 

they have stored lots of honey.

here is a video of what we did today

 

 

 

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.