New hive, all good.
Well, this is a relief. I was rather sad after the demise of Apple hive, so was determined to gain another hive this spring, whether by swarm or by split. My stored boxes got ratted before we shifted, and the wax was munched, with rat poop everywhere. The wooden frames did not smell nice, what with all the rat pee everywhere – I do not like rats. Mind you, I have had my revenge, through dissection. So I have cut out, scraped clean, washed, and had a number of rains and sunny days on the frames and boxes. Re-wiring and re-waxing takes longer than when working on new wood, as the holes are filled with wax, there is wax in the bars, there is wax everywhere, and everything is tacky.
I had just completed a number of boxes, and so was ready to go. I did not intend to gain a hive so soon, but the phone rang, and my friend was in a bit of a quandary – his hive had swarmed, a vigorous queen who had filled up her hive with daughters. He had no more boxes, and so asked if I would help him and take it. Of course I would help him – I needed a hive, he would be helping me more than anything else.
So, in a flurry of gathering, I had my suit, a hive box and base and lid, brush, and an emlock hive strap. (Autocorrect managed to call that one ‘hemlock’, I had no hemlock however). I also had helper D – who has grown significantly over the last season, and when he tried on his suit, he discovered it had not grown. Poor D, with a serious wedgie, he found he could relate to the ram-lambs we helped to de-boy a couple of weeks ago with rubber rings.
Out the door we went in a flash. In next to no time, we were suited up, and investigating the swarm. It was one of the easiest of all swarms I have seen, less than a metre off the ground. Just pop in a box, have a cup of tea, pour some more bees in the box, Bob’s your Uncle.
Post-Script: I added strips to the new hives within a few days. They need to come out at the end of October – remind me please. Again, I should have got in there sooner, but the weather was rather inclement. The queen in Daphne hive is a one year old girl, so plenty of life left.