Today was another of our open apiaries, this one run by Tim Giles. His apiary has 4 hives in a sheltered field corner, 3 jumbo langsthroths and 1 top bar hive.
imageWe started in the top bar hive, which contained a small swarm that had issued from one of Tims other hives. They had built a couple of combs down from the top bars, but were probably in need of some help before winter. image
The 1st of the langsthroth hives was a traditional wooden one. The top super contained a swarm that Tim had reunited back to the main hive. The queen left in a queen cage was sadly dead and all the brood had been abandoned. I felt that perhaps there were not enough bees to maintain a brood nest at the top and bottom of the hive. Tim used starter strips of foundation rather than a full sheet in the jumbo sized frames. Despite little help from wires, they were mostly secure.image
The next langsthroth hive was a polystyrene hive with plastic super frames. Again it wasn’t the strongest hive, having swarmed, so the plastic foundation was only partially drawn.
Tims 4th hive was his nasty hive, he was not keen to open this one up, only taking the lid off. The bees went for his hand as he passed it over the bees. Interestingly they didn’t when I passed my hand over. Maybe different gloves, or perhaps my gloves didn’t smell of his other hives.

Open Apiary 28/6/2014