Hi from Durham

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New Bee
Jul 2, 2023
Reaction score
County Durham
Number of Hives
Hi beeks,

Newbies from a Durham valley here (UK).

We did a beekeeping experience with a local honey producer last year. I should’ve been asked to sign a disclaimer because a year later, the nuc we bought as a result and carefully nursed through winter, and the small amount of kit, has turned into three hives on two sites, piles of books and bee-related gubbins filling the house and garage.

Our two-hive apiary started from the buckfast nuc, a grand young Q, laying well, but they took against the her (for no reason I could work out) and superseded her. We split for swarm control, and have two thriving hives with fat glossy chestnut queens.

We were also gifted by a member of our BKA a caught swarm which we’ve housed at a different site. This last are hybrid of black bee type, whose queen promptly swarmed and left us (the swarm was caught by another keeper, all being fair in love and bees).

We’ve been trying to get this third hive queenright since May. They raised a queen who didn’t make it. We didn’t fiddle but no eggs or larvae for 8 weeks. They initially accepted an expensive mated buckfast Q, for long enough to let her start laying… but then she was suddenly gone and they failed to raise a queen from the brood. As a last chance saloon, we’ve this weekend put in 2 of frames of eggs, stores and larvae from our strongest original hive (plus a pollen patty, and reduced the entrance right down as they’re under keen wasp interest). I fully expect this to be a failure/too weak to overwinter.

Making it up as we go along, since 2022..!