Category Archives: Things to do in June

Piping Queen Bees

If you have a few queen cells in Apideas lined up in a dark shed awaiting release, you will know when the little virgin queens hatch because they will announce their presence by piping a challenge to any others who might be out there. Often quite a chorus can start up!

Here is a recording of a piping queen bee.


Hover your cursor over the left-most side of this primitive-looking black strip and when the arrow changes into a little hand and the balloon says ‘Play/Pause’ – click it:

And here’s another:

Click here for photos of fighting queen bees.

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Swarming and How to Control it

Swarm control is what you do when swarm prevention didn’t work and you discover larvae in queen cells; if you find eggs in cells it means nothing but once there are larvae you are in trouble! It doesn’t mean you failed by the way – it just means that circumstances have conspired to make the urge to swarm irresistible. Welcome to firefighting!

Continue reading Swarming and How to Control it

Bees and Honey with a Scale Hive

A scale hive (or hive scale)  is a beehive set on a weighing scales so you can observe the daily change in weight.

Usually this means constructing a special stand which will accommodate the scales upside-down over a series of mirrors set like a periscope so the daily change of weight can be read from above. If you are manually inept or technologically minded or both, it is possible to buy a special solar-powered, digital scale hive which will allow you to monitor your bees from a distance – probably via a satellite – the mind boggles! Continue reading Bees and Honey with a Scale Hive

How to set up an Apidea

Mating nucs, or ‘mini nucs’ are a great way of getting a new queen laying using the minimum of resources. Should she fail, little is lost but if she does get laying – a spare queen is a great thing to have!

Apideas are far and away the best mating nuc on the market – they cost a little more but are worth every penny for the elegance of the design and the quality of the product.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat and the same can be said for Apideas but here is how I’ve been doing mine for the past 15 years… Continue reading How to set up an Apidea