I have been away for a few days but David was home to deal with the bee hive that needed a new queen. We got one from another beekeeper in the Tyne Valley who was combining two colonies into one, leaving one queen surplus to requirement. She was added to our colony on Sunday in a small box with 4 worker bees from the old colony. The entrance to the box was blocked up with fondant. She had to eat her way out - and during the couple of days she took to eat her escape route, the rest of the colony was able to get use to her smell and feremones. David checked on the hive this evening whilst I was out picking blackberries and hazel nuts. She had eaten her way out and was somewhere in the hive.
We will need to leave it for about 10 days or so before we open the hive again and then we will have to check to see if she is laying eggs. Good news if she is, bad news if she isn't.