The Adventures of a Novice Beekeper


First of all, an apology. There are still no pictures. This is basically because I’m still getting the hang of faffing around with a reluctant smoker and a general feeling of not having a clue what I’m doing, with the result that photography has temporarily sidelined.

However, the good news is that things are progressing well in the hive. The queen appears to be producing plenty of brood and there also seems to be some honey being produced in the super. Yup, real honey.

So it’s all looking quite promising.

The only complication is that when I inspected the hive on Sunday there were a couple of queen cells lurking there. Now this is a perfectly normal thing to happen, but it requires management. Because if another queen comes along, this hive ain’t big enough for the both of them. And one of them is gonna leave, taking at least half the workers with her in a swarm.

There are two ways of dealing with this. Either you can simply remove the queen cells and dispose of them, or you can go through the procedure known as artificial swarming, where you transfer half the population, plus the new potential queen, into a new hive. This is quite exciting, because it means that you’ve gone from a one-hive beekeeper into a two-hive one.

However, this option wasn’t available on Sunday, because I haven’t yet acquired a second hive. So I opted for regicide. Sorry, bees. Next time, maybe.


  1. May have this wrong but…fascinated that a Queen Bee could produce Queen Bee cells to which other Queen Bees can be attracted, even though the Queen Bee is a queen bee in her own hive. This journey is as complex as it is astounding. Keep up the good work/blog. Any thoughts about what you’ll call your honey? (Bee honey, obviously)

  2. admin

    May 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I think it’s all to do with what’s best for the colony, rather than what’s best for the current queen. But I probably need to read up more on this. Good question about naming the honey – I hadn’t even thought that far ahead!

  3. (S)he’s a Killer Queen
    Gunpowder, gelatine
    Dynamite with a laser beam
    Guaranteed to blow your mind


  4. admin

    June 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I’ll start worrying when she moves on to “I Want to Break Free”.

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