High Blean B&B Bainbridge: We now have Bees.

After a long wait our bees have finally been installed at High Blean.

It seems a long time ago that I was down at W Braithwaite & Sons Nurseries, in Bedale, where the incredibly helpful Phil Braithwaite advised me on hive and equipment.  His determination not to sell me items I did not need or I could make myself was refreshing. In the end, I bought a flat pack National hive, two sizes of frames and wax and took it home to set too work.

The easy to follow instructions were on the web site of the hive manufacturer and a phone call to the manufacturer to clarify the orientation of one of the hive side walls, was met with a friendly and helpful response. A coat of water based paint finished the task and made the hive look a bit smarter but not like a hive of popular imagination.

I had my name down with a number of people for a nucleus of bees, to get my hive started, but it was local apiarist Bob Craske of Bob’s Bees, who contacted me on Thursday, to tell me he had a swarm that would be ready for a new hive in the next couple of days, depending on weather conditions.

Saturday was perfect weather for re housing the bees as it was raining! It was also a perfect time of year, as with the late start to  Spring much of the blossom and flowers are only just coming out in Raydale and though out the Yorkshire Dales all the plants are late this year.

I went to collect Bob and the nuc from Askrigg and bring them over to High Blean where Bob was going to transfer the bees into my hive to get me under way.

High Blean B&B Bainbridge, Yorkshire Dales bees arriving

Take the Money or Open the box!

The  nucleus  consisted of about five frames and the associated bees, which Bob expertly decanted from the nuc box into my hive Then he set about the task of getting the stragglers, who were keen to remain in the nuc box, to move into the hive.

The rain started to lash it down, which is good in the sense that the bees are not wanting to fly but it also meant it was a bit difficult to get them all to go into my hive. With a few deft taps and slaps, Bob had the majority of the bees into their new home, and he closed the hive up and let them get on with the process of settling down.

High Blean B&B Bainbridge, bees being transferred into new hive

Bees move in.

Given they are newly swarmed and that flying condition are not great, which is preventing them from getting out to build up their stores, Bob suggested I give them a feed, which means I have to venture into the hive unaided!

So, all being well if these girls prove to be able to cope with living in Raydale then we should have our own honey on the breakfast table for our guests to enjoy, later this year or next year

Sunday: Today I have made up a sugar solution and taken the top of the hive off, and removed the super with the frames and replaced with an empty super, to accommodate the feeder. All went well and the bees appear to be settling in OK  A bit of fine weather and all should be well.

High Blean B&B Bainbridge, photos of frame full of bees

Chase the Queen, she is there somewhere




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