Saturday, April 4, 2009

Merops Apiaster

The 'Bee Eaters' arrived today! I didn't see them, I heard them. I was on my usual morning walk with the dog in a heavy mist early on. On the way back I heard a flock of bee eaters go all around me. There trill sound is quite distinctive and is quite unmistakeable. I suppose they will take quite a few of mine but it has never been a problem and is part of the natural system.
I finished pressing my honeycombs this morning; total of about 50lbs. Just enough honey to last us the whole year. The taste is absolutely amazing, delicious, superb. I have not fine filtered it just as it came out of the pressing cloth with tiny bits of wax and pollen.
I saw something today which I thought I would never see. A virgin queen coupled with a drone. I was sat watching the last swarm I have had sat in a tree take over a Layens hive so I was underneath looking skywards. It was about 3pm and either side of this Layens were two other bait hives with casts in. I don't know which of the two the virgin came from but I had to do a double take not sure at first what I was seeing. It must have been about 8ft from the hive when I saw the queen coupled with probably one of their own drones as she left on her mating flight.
So I started the season with 7 Layens hives and now have 21 populated. I have three Kenyans TBH's to build and transfer these bees from in the next three weeks before I leave for Sweden.

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