Wild-living Honey Bees

I went to visit the bees at Selmeston which are living in dilapidated Langstroths as I wanted to see how active they were in the good weather. The larger hive seemed very quiet, and on closer inspection it turned out that the bees were nowhere to be seen. I couldn’t find any trace of them despite dismantling the hive, so I am curious as to what has happened as they were really quite busy last time I visited back in January. There was plenty of honey, albeit crystallised, so starvation wasn’t an issue. A mouse had made a nest in the base but the bees were entering the hive at an entrance in one of the upper boxes so I’m not sure that would have affected them much.

The other hive was much busier, and bringing in pollen but I am concerned that the base has completely rotten leaving that side of the hive open to the elements. I have a National set up next to them so I am really hoping I can get a swarm from them this year. If I can salvage any frames from the empty hive I will put one in the bait hive to try and tempt them in but I will have to see what happens.

I have a full account of the visit for subscribers over on my Patreon so do consider supporting my work if you feel you can, and in return receive updates on sustainable beekeeping and wildlife gardening, as well as advice and exclusive content.

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