Bees @ the Growing Space

27th June 2022
Reyaz kneeling down and cutting the tape off a nuc of bees so the frames can be removed.
On Wednesday Reyaz met up with Ruth, from GL Communities, and helped get Gloucester Services new bees settled in at their community growing space.

Originally the plan was to have two hives and they had been prepared beforehand and were placed ready to welcome the bees from Maisemore Apiary. However before that could happen a wild swarm of bees found their way to the hives and decided to occupy one of them at the last minute. Thankfully though we had a spare hive. We popped another table down, levelled it up, and prepared the extra hive so our plans weren’t disrupted.

We picked the two nuc of bees up from Mairemore and transported them to the Growing Space in the car boot. During the journey we made sure to keep all the windows open and the AC blasting so the bees had plenty of air and didn’t overheat. When we arrived we placed them under the tables in the shade while we inspected the wild colony that had appeared.

The hive with the wild colony needed a few extra frames put in, so we gave them a quick smoke and got to work. Fortunately they seemed quite gentle and didn’t get too irate when messed with. You can see how many of them there were buzzing about in one of the photos below.

After that we went through setting up the two other hives with the new bees. We carefully removed the frames from the transport hive, checking each one as we went to see if we could spot the queen bee. Queen bees, when bought, are usually marked with a dot on their back (in this case a yellow one).

Once all the frames were in we placed a feeder on top and filled it with syrup, dribbling some of it down the volcano-like structures so the bees could follow the trail and find the food. After that was done we put all the other bits back on top – although that’s just for organisational purposes. At the moment the two new bee colonies can only access the brood chamber and the feeder.

We’ll be checking up on them regularly to make sure all goes well.

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