Warm again, we were certain glowing under our bee suits. Paul, Lis Paz and I did our first check post varroa treatment and honey removal. The bees have certainly taken to the syrup we've offered and are busily building their stores.
The varroa treatment didn't make too much difference to the main hive but the drop on the new one was incredible! (right)
There was an unwelcome addition of an airborne nature in the shape of a hornet (below). I spotted it on Monday but it was there again on Wednesday. Hornets are carnivorous and they pick off landed bees if they get a chance and we witnessed one unfortunate bee captured and taken off the feed the nest. European hornets do not pose a real threat to a strong colony and do not over winter but I will hang up a hornet trap anyway. If you have time over the weekend you might like to make one too (https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/downloadNews.cfm?id=122)
All bee keepers are on the alert for sightings of the Asian hornet who are more resilient to bees anti hornet tactics and can kill off a colony in a very short space of time. They have been advancing across Europe and rumour has it one was spotted in Kent but I'm not sure that was verified.
I'm extracting the honey from the frames on Sunday so we might have some to taste soon.
For those interested there's a new film on limited release about honey bees