With recent advances in science…

By | May 25, 2014

JJ_arniaMonitoringLast week I put the mega awesome Arnia Remote Beehive monitoring system into the hive. It has sensors which pick up temperature inside and outside the hive, humidity within the hive, and even the frequency of the bees buzz!

The data is sent over 2G to a website which graphs the data. With this information, I can understand what the bees are doing better, make small incremental changes and monitor their effects. Simply put, this amazing system will make me a better beekeeper, and the bees will be better off for it.

JJ_MtchstickHuiduityFor instance, I know the humidity in the hive is fluctuating, as the bees bring in more nectar. They’ll be trying to dehydrate the nectar, by fanning their wings to create a draft. Tough work! Imagine drying your washing by flapping your arms at it..

I’ve therefore put matchsticks under the ceiling tiles, to let the air flow through the hive better. This should help them dehydrate the honey easier, but I’ll need to make sure it doesn’t reduce the hive temperature too much.

JJ_GraysFarm I’ve realised Grays Pick Your Own fruit and vegetable farm is nearby. This is excellent news, as it will provide a diverse and changing forage throughout the year for the bees – and Sas and I will be able to pick fresh strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb (etc) when in season, as if they were our own.

In other news, I’m frequently asked what the queen looks like.
So in a bold and amateur fashion, here she is in tilt shift mode.
Shes the one with the red(ish) dot on her back. She is slightly larger than her daughters as she has fully developed ovaries where her daughters don’t, but otherwise is a very similar size.

JJ_queenFocus

The red dot makes her easier to see when inspecting, and also lets me know her age. There is a colour code used among beekeepers (with handy mnenomic);

White (Will)
- Years ending 1 or 6

Yellow (you)
- years ending 2 or 7

Red (raise)
- years ending 3 or 8

Green (good)
- years ending 4 or 9

Blue (bees)
- years ending 5 or 0


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