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The colony had presumably also realised the old queen was failing and superseded.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) vacancies
    22 September 2022
    The National Bee Unit currently has a Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in:
    • Wales: Whole country, but particularly north and Ceredigion.
    • South West: Whole region
    • West: Avon, Staffordshire, Shropshire
    • East: Norfolk, but particularly north
    • North East: Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire
    • North West: Greater Sheffield area (SW Yorkshire, NW Derbyshire)
    • Central: Northamptonshire, North Buckinghamshire, Hampshire
    • South East: Kent, East Sussex

    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 region.
  • Credible sighting of a single Asian hornet near Chelmsford, Essex
    26 August 2022
    National Bee Unit inspectors are carrying out enhanced surveillance near Chelmsford, in response to a compelling report of Asian hornet (Vespa velutina).

    Further information regarding the yellow-legged Asian hornet can be found on Defra's Asian Hornet sightings page and on BeeBase’s Asian hornet page. For media enquiries, please contact the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

    We ask beekeepers to remain vigilant, record monitoring trap locations on BeeBase by logging in and updating their my apiaries page, report suspected sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for iPhone and Android, or the online reporting form.

  • BeeBase Email Outage
    18 August 2022
    During the period Midday 12th August to Midday 17th August, some automated emails from BeeBase will not have been sent. 

    Therefore, if you did not receive an email when expected please re-submit your request. 

    Some systems affected included:
    • Password reset emails
    • Username reminders

    All emails are now being processed as normal
    .