Hive number 8 came through the winter well. However. It became apparent that the colony was not building up.

The queen appeared sluggish and the laying pattern was not all it could be. I decided to introduce a new queen from British stock from an acknowledged breeder.

 The queen was introduced in the appropriate way. I dispatched the old green queen on my branch – the myth being if you squeeze the queen on a branch this will form an attraction for swarms to attach– 4 queens over last 4 years no good so far.

When I checked a week later much to my frustration the new queen was nowhere to be seen. I closed the hive to sort out next week. The bee inspector was coming in 3 days.

I was telling the inspector of my bad luck in losing my new queen as he inspected the comb. He simply pointed out the queen, not the new marked one.

The colony had presumably also realised the old queen was failing and superseded. It appeared the two queens had fought as the right rear wing was somewhat chewed and not moving correctly. But she appeared to be laying well.

Sadly the ending was not happy. Wonky winged queen stopped laying as well and on inspection had a paralysed right rear leg. The poor pattern because many of the eggs were ending up at the side and being removed by the workers.

She has had to be replaced and has gone to the tree of swarms.


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  • Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancy
    23 September 2021
    The National Bee Unit currently has a Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancy advertised in:

    •  East England: Norfolk.
    •  North West England: West Yorkshire.
    •  North East Wales: Flintshire, Denbighshire & Wrexham.
    •  Mid-South Wales: Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil.

    If you are interested in applying for these jobs, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs 


    If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact the Regional Bee Inspector for the area.
  • Asian Hornet Week
    10 September 2021
    6-10 September is Asian Hornet Week
    Two new presentations on the Asian hornet diet and Asian hornet nests in the UK by Dr Eleanor Jones are now available.
    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for iPhone or Android or report it here.
  • Asian Hornet Week
    09 September 2021
    6-10 September is Asian Hornet Week
    See the Hunt for Asian hornets blog by Meg Seymour and Gordon Bull here
    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for iPhone or Android or report it here.