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Posts tagged ‘drone’

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 : Late September : Mishaps

The catalogue of woe in my Suffolk apiary last weekend was bigger and wider than Argos's Christmas edition. So I binned it and started again. I'm going to call last weekend's events "mishaps". Not misadventures and not disasters. Not yet.

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Time Capsule

Here is a gem of a time-capsule called: "A Year In The Apiary", filmed by the Barnet Beekeepers’ Association in 1936. It can be viewed in four enchanting, wobbly, b&w episodes on YouTube. With bees, no-one can ever say: "They don't make 'em like that anymore". They do.

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In The Apiary : Early April : Queen Cups

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.

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Marginal Gains

I run 38 marathons a year. Not all at once, nor even one at a time. Just to the office and back, 4 miles/day, every working day. With a few weekend runs thrown in for fun, it works out at around 1,000 miles a year. OK, so what’s my lycra-suited commute on the tarmac treadmill got to do with beekeeping ? The name of the game is: “marginal gains”.

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In The Apiary : Mid September : BIAS

Unlike the majority of free-born Englishmen (and women), when a beekeeper encounters BIAS, contentment reigns. BIAS is the acronym for "Brood In All Stages" inside the engine-room of the hive. Those stages are : egg, larva, pupa, emergence of new bee.

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Stop Press: In the Apiary : Late July : Eviction Notice

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.

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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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Up Close And Personal

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...

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The Buzz: Queen Bee’s Retinue

Thatcher 1

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!)


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