One murder, no food, a community dwindling and now living with the neighbours… all par for the course for our bees in Taffs Well Quarry in Wales. This year has been a tough one for our CEMEX bees.
We currently have 4 hives on site. At the height of summer there is usually between 30,000 and 40,000 bees per hive. When autumn/winter is here this drops to around 10,000 per hive. Each hive can produce up to 40lbs of honey each year. Of these 40lbs only 20lbs will be removed per hive and the rest left for the bees to feed off in times of need.
This summer was not a good one for bees in general. We had a good spell of about 10 to 14 days of warm dry weather followed by weeks of heavy rain. This caused the pollen levels to drop and there wasn’t enough to go round all the hives, consequently the Queens stopped producing eggs. Elaine, our bee lady, is going to merge 2 of the hives as they have become too small to last the winter kept separate. She will have to kill one of the Queens and put all the bees into one hive.
Fingers crossed if we have good weather next spring/summer she will be able to separate them out again. Ultimately her plan is to have at least 6 hives on site at Taffs Well Quarry.