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Posts tagged ‘breeding’


It's the summer solstice. Today is the longest day of the year with 16 hours, 38 minutes and 19 seconds of daylight in London. It's also the day when Queen bees hit their peak daily laying rate of over 2,000 eggs a day. So it's a good time of year to consider the dark side of beekeeping: the swarm.

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In the Apiary : Mid-May : An Inspector Calls…

At 5.31pm precisely the doorbell rang. It was the Seasonal Bee Inspector for the South London, Brian McCallum. This was my first visit from an inspector. Or, as I like to look at it, the first time I have been offered a free beekeeping lesson from Her Majesty's Government.

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In The Apiary – April 2015 – First Inspections

Spring has been a long time coming, but finally, I have been able to crack open my hives and inspect the Bermondsey Street Bees, checking on their health, development and well-being, and especially on each hive's Queen.

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In The Apiary : Late June : Introducing The Green Queens.

There’s nothing for me to do about the honey crop now. The bees are where they need to be, healthy and prolific, and it’s up to the weather from now to the end of July to dictate the Bermondsey Street Bees' honey harvest.

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Running On Empty

I’ve run out of beekeeping kit. I started this year with 3 hives on my roof. Today there are 8. Only a National nuc box and a single Keiler breeding nuc remain in reserve. That’s the beekeeping equivalent of the small change down the back of your sofa.

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In The Apiary : Early May : Queen Cells

Some say that our Queen is so much in the public eye, that she is, in effect, a prisoner of her own subjects. Hold that thought.

The situation with a Queen Bee is remarkably similar. Constantly attended by her retinue, she lays worker bee or drone eggs in the cells selected by her adoring populace.

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What’s in a name ? I didn’t get it when my wife suggested that I give the new Queen in Shard Hive a name.

“She’s already got one,” I replied cheerily: “It’s JC1.0.O.4.13.NZ”.

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