We have had a very interesting beekeeping year and now have 3 colonies in Top Bar Hives.
Phil Chandler ran a course here in early June and one amazing find was a Death's Head Hawk Moth in one of the hives. It was actually between the follower board and the end of the hive, so couldn't get in to steal any honey which is what they do. Another bonus of having a periscope entrance.
|The Death's Head Hawk Moth in the hive|
|You can clearly see the death's head marking|
|Phil inspecting the lovely straight comb in the Nectan's hive|
|The electricity box where the swarm had settled|
|In they go|
|Arlo and Alby getting ready to catch the swarm|
|Quite a big swarm|
|Even the baby joined in|
|The lovely black queen can be seen here in the middle of the picture with blue on her abdomen|
We are hoping our three hives will all survive the winter. They have plenty of stores and after such a good summer, they all seem to be strong colonies. We also helped a friend, at Morwenstow, with his first colony this year. He came on the course last year and had his Top Bar hive all ready to go. He was given some bees from a beekeeper in Bude.
There is one more Beekeeping course this year on the weekend of 10th - 12th October 2014. It is for Improvers and Converters, but Phil has said that he will accept people who have at least read a book about beekeeping and know the basics. There are still a few places, so if anyone is interested, do email Yarner at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. They do have a bursary scheme to help with payment if needed.
Phil is staying on afterwards to give a talk about the native Black Bee Project at The Old Smithy Inn on the Sunday evening.