Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Attending a beekeepers' auction

new bee equipment Apr 13

We bought our first bees two years ago from Robert Furniss, a leading member of the Hexham Beekeepers' Association. Unfortunately Robert passed away earlier this year and on Sunday all his equipment was auctioned at an event in the village of Wall in Northumberland. There were over three hundred lots so the auction itself took four hours with a further two for viewing at the start. Some of the auction took place outside and it was a cold day so at times, bidding was brisk.

We bought various hive parts, 15kg of sugar (for feeding the bees) and 2 nuc boxes. We were very keen to get some nuc boxes as we can use them to create new hives and reduce the likelihood of our existing hives swarming. In a nutshell, we can take some brood frames from a hive which contain queen cells and place them in a nuc box. The flying worker bees will return to the hive but the nursery bees will remain with the newly established colony. The queen cells will produce a queen and as the colony grows, it will be transferred into a hive.

The new equipment is stacked in our hallway at home until this coming weekend when we will re-arrange our new shed so that space is created for storage.

At the auction, I put in bids for blocks of beeswax. I was unsuccessful but I wanted them to test out some candle making equipment we have. We have some honeycomb from last year that needs to be melted down so it seems we will test our candle making skills on that instead.

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