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.
Posts tagged ‘drone’
Welcome to the first Bermondsey Street Apiary report of 2014. Executive summary: the bees are in great shape. So much so that, in early April, I found some Queen Cups. Half-empty or half-full, Queen Cups are fundamentally important to successful beekeeping.
The strange thing in the Bermondsey Street Bees apiary this week has been that the "eviction of the drones" has already begun. But before you feel too sorry for the drones, it is worth bearing in mind that a living drone is, by definition, an unsuccessful drone. The fact that the drones’ lower abdomens are ripped out by the Queen during their airborne mating (with a “pop” like a champagne cork, apparently!) means that drones die the instant after they have passed on their genes to the Queen.
The first inspections of 2013 in the Bermondsey Street Bees' Apiary took place in the balmy evening sunshine on Thursday 25th April 2013: Abbey Hive, firing on all cylinders, Thames Hive, not such a bunch of tearaways, after all, and Shard Hive, cursed with a drone-laying Queen...
Here’s a collector’s item: a rare 1984 picture of a Drone interloping amongst the Queen Bee’s “court” of female attendants (take a bow, Sarah and Penny!)