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Hive & Keeper brings you British honeys straight from the hive, full of health benefits and natural flavours that reflect their provenance and the bees that made them.

Little Legs could be a poor performer

I had a look at Little Legs with trepidation - last week her colony was too small to survive, bu this week things are on the up.  I had swapped her hive with Big Legs' hive so her foragers were flying back home and walking in to Little Legs' weak hive with tummies full of nectar and pollen baskets bursting.  It's worked a bit as there are definitely more bees in there They are so jumpy though, at the slightest knock they fly straight up at you with a furious agitated buzz!  There was some brood in there, a frame of it and probably bigger than last week, but not masses.  Their temperament made me wonder if all was well with them so I put a frame of eggs in from Big Legs' hive.  It's called a test frame, because if the colony don't like Little Legd and have worked out she's a poor performer they'll want a new queen, so a frame full of eggs gives them the opportunity to turn some of them into Queen cells and a chance of having a new healthy queen.  We'll see next week if they think Little Legs is in need of changing.  Her days could be numbered...

Big Legs has settled into new hive

Big Legs' hive is cleaned