The Thermosolar bees have been in their hive a couple of weeks and I wanted to make sure they had settled in. They were very active, and not very pleased to see me! I didn’t have my smoker so I might have to use that next time – the smoke distracts them and masks any alarm pheromone but I don’t like using it unless I have to.
It was a beautiful breezy day, and the wildflowers still displaying a wonderful canvas of colour across the community area. The grasshoppers were in full song, as was the yellowhammer, and a buzzard cruised lazily overhead as I made my way through the long grass to the bees.
I took the roof off but the bees had been busy proposing their frames to the underside, so I had to scrape that off – a shame as they work so hard to collect it. I need to have some sort of breathable cover between the roof and the frames otherwise I risk pulling everything out when I take the roof off! Tom suggested a queen excluder (mesh used to keep the queen out of the honey boxes) but I find they get propolised just as much so I will try a piece of cloth, like in a Warré as I have some here.
You can see the sticky orange resin – this glue holds the hive parts together and also provides antibacterial protection to the interior of the hive. It is breathable so won’t affect the hive workings but I do need to find a way of ensuring the frames are not in direct contact with the lid.
They are on deep (14×12) National frames so the bees have plenty of work to do. It is a decent sized colony though and I saw eggs and brood when I lifted out a frame so can assume all is well.
I took a short video of the entrance activity. Lots of different pollens: this shows a good range of forage is available. Clover, raspberry, Michaelmas daisy, willowherb and bramble all look to be going in. Pollen collected now will be used for the growing larvae in the winter and early spring so it is great to see so much being gathered.