Swarm update

Here is a little vid about the swarm I collected on Thursday, as well as looking at some beautiful red pollen going in to one of my other hives. Lots of drones too! This is a public-access Patreon post:


I tend to leave my swarms for at least 3 weeks before checking them, depending on whether they are a prime or cast, and the conditions. It is lovely and warm here now, and we had a large dump of rain yesterday so the nectaries will be full to bursting. This will enable the swarms to establish well and get feeding, and the unmated queens out to meet the drones. I have a good population of boys from my hives as the bees build their own comb so drones are not restricted. High drone numbers is important to ensure there is sufficient competition between them to allow for the best matings to take place. Reducing drone numbers on the grounds that they don’t make honey, and culling them because Varroa favour them is deeply short-sighted; the chances of Varroa resistance/tolerance and hygienic behaviour coming forward is far greater if the queens are well-mated, and this needs abundant drones.

Nature has the solution. Always.

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