Buzzy Bees Inspection
At this point in the honeybees’ life cycle, they are busily making honey ready for their Winter stores, creating more worker bees and drones (males) to continue the hive. On 17th July, we welcomed Lesley the Beekeeper from Urban & Community Beekeeping to Stockley Park for a routine hive inspection to check the health of the colony and to assess whether a honey harvest is possible this season.
We were very excited to actually catch a glimpse of Busy Lizzie, our Queen Bee, mother to the approximately 40/50,000 other bees in the hive! Lizzie can be seen in picture 2 below, denoted by a harmless green dot on her thorax.
The baseboard collects any bee droppings, pollen and dead bees. It’s a great way of assessing hive health and checking whether any parasitic and harmful mites, such as the Varroa mite, are present. We could not see any mites and based on this, Lesley confirmed that our hive and colony are all pretty healthy and producing honey well. Great news!
Queen Bee Lizzie can be seen at the bottom left of this image. Her thorax has been marked green (don’t worry, this does not harm Lizzie at all!).
This image shows one of the supers full of honey created by the bees. Once they have finished collecting the pollen it is dehydrated into the hive. You can see one of the workers “bottoms up” within a cell, taking the water out of the pollen which will eventually become honey. The white, creamy coloured capped-over areas are filled with honey and are stores for the winter months. If the bees are creating enough honey to see them through the winter, we will be able to harvest any surplus and create our own jars of (hopefully!) lavender flavoured honey.