We carried out our weekly inspection just to see how the colonies were getting on and to check they were healthy, that the queen was laying and they were building up stores. Hufflepuff is definitely the stronger of the two colonies as they were in the hive for a week longer than Ravenclaw and had an extra frame to start off with. This is a lovely picture of uncapped brood on one of the Hufflepuff frames. Sadly, keeping bees has put me off prawns as I can’t quite stop my self seeing bee brood when I look at a prawn… There’s brood of all different sizes in this frame and I think (from my limited knowledge) that it looks like a healthy pattern. We did manage to see Helga Hufflepuff (the queen) today. Only briefly though as she hid herself at the bottom of a frame.
This is a nice healthy frame of capped brood, uncapped brood, eggs (if you look closely) and capped stores from Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff were a bit more grumpy today than they have been – no stings but just a little more agitated. Having said that, just as we were completing the inspection of Ravenclaw, it started raining, so maybe they were fretting about having the hive open as the weather changed.
Rowena Ravenclaw was being a lot more cooperative this week (we didn’t see either queen last week). I love the way all her attendants are looking up at me as I took this photo. She carried on with the job in hand without so much of a glance in my directions. The bees in Ravenclaw are unbelievably chilled out.
Elmo had a hitch-hiker. I think this pollen is from the privet that is very much in flower at the moment. The honey bees seem to love this and also a New Zealand flax that is in flower locally. The lavender hedge in the garden is pretty popular too – as are the many fuchsia bushes that thrive in our area.
Nothing to do with bees but isn’t this young jay a fine fellow. He loves the suet balls on the bird feeders and we’ve enjoyed watching him today, along with the bullfinches, goldfinches, all types of common garden tit and of course the spugs (sparrows for those not familiar with this Sheffield term).