It was with some trepidation that we returned to the hives we re-sited last weekend to see what was happening. Would the flying bees have left the following morning, got lost and not returned? Would their numbers be depleted, the strength of the swarm compromised because the new house bees were not old enough to leave the hive to start their foraging careers? And, most importantly, would there be a Queen in residence, because bees are not happy if they are Queenless.
We need not have worried. As we approached the hives we could see much activity! They seemed to be saying, 'Thought you would fool us by moving our houses, did you? Eh? Eh??? Well, you didn't, so HA!'
The top bar was very buzzy. Lots of ins and outs of bees wearing enormous yellow trousers.
And the National hive was humming, too. And inside we found a very nice looking Queen Bee, bombing around her palace looking very efficient. There were larvae and capped brood, more naughty free-style comb building and more enormous yellow trousers. And plenty of honey stores.
So 'Hurrah!' The One Hundred Yard Move was a success!
The next step is to transfer the National bees into a clean hive. The hive they have settled in has been empty for nearly two years and thusly is a bit of a state inside. If I was Queen Bee I would be ordering a bit of hoovering and dusting to be done. So we are taking a clean hive down on our next visit, along with a super, because at the rate they are going they will need extended accommodation within four or five weeks. We are very much hoping this hive will be good and strong for the coming Winter. All signs are positive so far.
At home, the lavender has burst into flower and is covered in honey bees. After a couple of bad bee years in general because of the weather, perhaps this year will be a good one for them.