Finally, we found, clipped and marked the elusive queen in our healthy WBC hive. She has been playing very hard to get! She's laying eggs and looking healthy, but the laying has slowed down now that summer is at an end. The national hive is also healthy and the bees are still flying well.
As we are approaching the end of the season now, Chris removed all of the full supers from his hives but we are a bit disappointed with honey yield. The bees have been feeding on it during the changeable weather over the last few weeks. Chris says it’s also likely that they’ve been finding it hard to draw out honeycomb on the frames. We'll have an accurate idea of yield once the honey has been extracted.
We took a super off each of our hives (both the WBC and national) which will be stored and extracted in due course but we have left some supers on both hives in the hope that we might get a final flush over the next few weeks if the weather is favourable.
As part of our 8 year rotation at Honeydale, we have a large wild bird plot which contains lots of sunflowers. As you can see from the photo, these are now all coming into flower which is great because the bees love them. It will be plants like this that will contribute to any late honey-flow if we get one and the weather behaves itself!