Today was no exception, the 'advanced' & Junior Certificate teams had planned to split one of our VERY full colonies. This means taking a frame of eggs, a frame of brood & one of stores, (along with a cup or two of nurse bees) putting them in a small 'nucleus' hive and allowing them to make a new Queen...
This has lots of advantages... it means if we miss a swarm, our wonderful 'Queens Genes' have not been entirely lost, as we have a 'daughter' establishing her own colony... it is also a method of 'swarm prevention' By reducing the bees in the hive, they have more space & are less likely to make swarm preparations. THAT IS THE THEORY!
But, as you will know from previous posts, bees only forage really above 12 degrees, so with today hovering around 9 degrees, it was too cold to open our hives, as it may have resulted in the brood getting chilled.
So, it was a good opportunity to catch up on essential jobs in the shed... super frames to be made... and the final preparations on our new pollinator hotel.
We are so proud of them all, such brilliant team work, getting on with it all independently and with amazing focus...
We have been using our old brood boxes to make a 'luxury bug house' for solitary bees and other pollinators, A great way of recycling and helping the environment.
Mr Tett our 'beekeeping buddy' from Kendal beekeepers again helped out with the cutting, but the children have done everything else... planting it up for the 'big reveal next week!