first catch your bees – plan c

Once again I have bees in my hive – a gentle, peace-able swarm delivered by the swarm officer last night.  I have named the queen Bertha following the advice of my son (that way she’ll know she belongs and will stay put) but, for good measure, I have put a queen excluder (includer?) across the entrance.  my plan is to leave it there for a week and hope that Bertha and her entourage will feel SO at home by then that no-one will think of buzzing off.  Now pouring with rain so the bees are all inside, hopefully making comb and hanging up curtain in there.  I will resist the temptation to peek in.  Any other advice/tips/suggestions will be most welcome…….and, most importantly, please keep your fingers crossed for me!


About walthambees

I am a complete novice to bee keeping - eager to learn, willing to try, happy to acknowledge that I know little and prepared to write about that in the hope that others will share their wisdom and experiences!
This entry was posted in Horizontal Top Bar Hives, Natural Beekeeping, Swarms. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to first catch your bees – plan c

  1. enhancingthefuture says:

    Excellent news. Hope it all goes well for you. I was told not to have the queen excluder in place for more than two days as it can be an added stress and also it tends to wipe the pollen off the bees as they try to get through it. Probably, more experienced beekeepers can give you some more definitive advice on this.

  2. walthambees says:

    thanks Graham. I need all the advice i can gather….

  3. Ali Twigg says:

    Lucky you! Just as a point of interest, you shouldn’t need to keep a queen excluder on for more than 48 hours if your bees are going to stay. They may not, of course, but they will decide what’s best for them. Also, the queen excluder causes additional wear and tear on the worker’s wings as well as removing pollen, so 48 hours is the max. Do have a peek in through an observation window, just for a minute or two to see what’s going on in there. You should see your bees ‘chaining’ while they make the first comb. It’s a lovely colour; virgin comb. Enjoy!

  4. walthambees says:

    thanks Ali. I opened the observation window this am very briefly and used a torch to try and see what was happening but could see little. the hive is very quiet this am but, once again, its cold wet and windy. I’m trying very hard to resist the urge to open it up to make sure there are bees in there still…….I know they need time to settle and that the weather is an explanation of them not being very active so I won’t but I go down to visit them about once every 2 hours – must be the definition of a woman with not enough to do!

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