Unopened for 2 years… and Superhive lives on (genetically)!

What a fabulous honeybee day!

The first port of call was to investigate a hive lost in nettles that hadn’t been looked at for at least 2 years. Thankfully Philip had been busy with a scythe before we got there otherwise I’m not sure we would have even found it! We took the smoker but didn’t really need to use it, the bees were so quiet. On the other hand, a hive tool was imperative as they had stuck everything down incredibly firmly. It wasn’t a large colony but there was a healthy mix of eggs, larvae and sealed brood and no obvious sign of disease, although they were a little low on stores. I popped back early evening to give them a sugar syrup feed feeling confident in their docility and my ability to put a feeder on the crown board with relatively little disturbance. Unfortunately I bumped the hive, sploshed the syrup and ended up running away through nettles after receiving stings to my face and wrist; there’s a reason one wears protective clothing!

Next was a visit to the Barsham hives where we met some others of the group to inspect the new nuc and the newly thriving Superhive mark II. The nuc has truly small bees in it, even the queen is tiny, but they are doing all the right things and looking healthy and happy.

Superhive II is expanding at a great rate of knots, the brood nest already fills about 3/4 of the chamber and the Queen was easy to spot as she is so large and handsome (just like her mother!). Today was the first time I’ve noticed wasps around the hives so I narrowed the entrance on Superhive II to make it easier for the guard bees to defend, the others have tiny entrances already.

The final inspection took place back in Bungay where we looked in the top bar hive (separate blog post).

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