Pollen Guide

Apple April – May
Balsam July – December
Bean May – June
Blackberry June – November
Bluebell March – May
Cherry (Japanese) March – June
Crocus (Dutch) January – April
Crocus (Purple) September – November
Crocus (Yellow) January – March
Clover (White) May – September
Dahlia July – September
Dandelion January – December
Gorse January – July
Hawthorne April – June
Hazel January – April
Heather July – October
Horse Chestnut April – May
Ivy August – December
Michaelmus Daisy August – December
Oilseed Rape April – July
Phacelia June – August
Poppy July – October
Rose (Christmas) January – March
Raspberry May – August
Rosebay June – September
Silver Birch March – April
Snowdrop January – March
Sycamore Acer May – June
Willow (Grey) January – May
Pollen Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cherry (Japanese)
Crocus (Dutch)
Crocus (Purple)
Crocus (Yellow)
Clover (White)
Horse Chestnut
Michaelmus Daisy
Oilseed Rape
Rose (Christmas)
Silver Birch
Sycamore Acer
Willow (Grey)

The first inspection

Well today was my first inspection and all is well.

I found larvae (frames 4 & 6), capped brood and food on several of them as well. I found the queen (frame 7) so everything is in good order.

Some of the frames are starting to become quite black so may well need replacing next year.

The bees were being very friendly however I did use a reasonable amount of smoke.

I put a super on to give more space for them to store food and prevent swarming as otherwise they could run out of space on the brood frames for eggs and larvae.

The only area of query was some cells that were bright red and some cells looked slightly mouldy (frames 3 and 8). Having done some reading the red cell is most likely linked to the pollen. The moudly cells is also common as a result of being left over winter.,

Lessons from hands on session 1


Place the metal circle at the bottom and put fuel on top. Suggested fuel of egg boxes, rotten wood, wood shaving, straw, very dried grass, shredded paper. Keep extra material at hand so you can add to it as using it to prevent it going out.



Clean Beekeeping Tools (For Every Hive)

Always clean hive tools between inspections with a washing solution made up of 1 part soda crystals (Sodium Carbonate) to 5 parts warm water (e.g. 1 Kg of soda cystals and 5L of warm water) with a squeeze of washing-up liquid. Immerse the equipment in the solution, while using a wired brush, or similar tool to scrub off residues until the tools are clean.

The 5L of solution can be kept for up to one month (or less if it becomes very discoloured).


Look for eggs and larave.

Once looked for queen, shake the bees off so you can inspect the comb for brood, eggs, larvae, nectar and honey.

Should see eggs within a week of the queen being introduced.

Hive Record

Keep a Hive Record (see attached sheet) to help notify that is seen and will enable you top see patterns of the behaviour. hive_record

Life of the Bees Day 1

I went to visit the hive several times today to see what the bees are up to.

First thing (well about 9am) there were only a few bees around, however the hive was in the shade and the bees probably hadn’t have the morning sunshine to let them know it was time to forage.


At lunchtime it was a very different picture. There were a lot of bees around and flying in and out of the hive.


The Arrival of the bees

Today I went to collect my nuc of bees from Local Honey Man in Walthamstow http://localhoneyman.co.uk/.

After a journey home (where i tried to drive as smoothly as possible) we put the bees down for a rest. We finished setting up the area and then after about an hour I started the process of transferring them to my brand new hive.

I kitted myself up with my jacket and gloves and then lit the smoker, took a deep breath and opened up the box. I puffed some smoke into the box to help calm them down and gradually opened the box further.

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As they calmed down I then took the brave step of picking up the frames. The first frame mainly had honey in the cells and the following frames included capped brood. The bees were happy sitting on the frames. I smoked them a bit as i went along to make sure they remained calm.

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The queen had been transported in a box to make sure she was safe.  I took the step of opening the box and encouraging her onto a frame. She had a blue spot on her back which means she was born in 2015.


I then banged the box gently to get the bees left in the box into a cluster and poured them onto the frames.

And finally it was done – well i thought – but realised that i needed the spaces from my spare frames. Having collected the spaces from the spare frames in the garage I had to reopen the hive to insert the spaces. Well the bees were not happy. Having been realised that I had gone they were not impressed . They became annoyed and were buzzing very loudly. I inserted the spaces as quickly as possible and then put the queen excluder and crownboard back.

I had prepared a jar of sugar syrup to put on top of the crownboard over the whole to allow the bees to have some food whilst adjusting to their new location. I put an empty spacer box over this and then the roof.

Phew all done.