Water stop

My bees were busy collecting water to take back to the hive today, and they were making use of my pond. They use the water to dissolve the honey which has set in the comb amongst other things.

You can see its hairy eye which is one of the ID features it is the only bee to have hairy eyes.

Swarm pick up


I’ve just picked up this swarm that came form a hollow tree, the bees have lived and swarmed from there for the last 30 years the lady said.


Its the biggest I’ve ever seen.



Where it came from


Another swarm captured


The swarm that failed in there first attempt at swarming , managed to take flight today. It flew out of my garden and into the same tree I have caught my last three swarms on. This one was a little higher.


After removing some of the branches, I managed to shake the swam into a travel box, Luckily the queen went in and the rest followed.



The travel box was taken back to the garden and installed into a Nucleus hive , but the size of  the swarm means it will only be in there a small amount of time.

Queen bees mating flight


I was lucky enough to see this rare event of one of my virgin queen bees  returning back to the hive from a mating flight (hopefully not a virgin now) she only ever leaves the hive on her mating flight or when she leaves with a swarm so may be only two or three outings fomr the hive in her lifetime.


Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollonation and for producing honey and beeswax.  There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, though many are underscribed and the actual number is probably higher. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants

Bees are adapted for feeding on Nectar and pollen.  the former primarily as an energy source and the latter primarily for protein and other nutrients. Most pollen is used as food for larvae.

Some pollinator insect facts
Britain has 25 species of bumblebees, of which about 11 commonly visit garden flowers.
A honeybee hive can contain up to about 60,000 bees in mid summer and they can convert the nectar they collect into over 100 pounds of honey.
There are about 260 species of solitary bee in Britain.