Well, my second queen bee, Victoria has left her palace to set up in the wild with a load of her workers. Not sure when they went but they’ve definitely gone.
An experienced beekeeper who has been advising me says that this has been a really bad year for swarming. The warm June and high pollen levels have convinced the bees that they can make a go of it on their own and they’ve followed their natural instinct to spread out and start new colonies. (A bit like the British in 200 years or so ago. Hmmm maybe Victoria wasn’t a good name to choose for one of my queens?)
I suspect my problems have been caused mainly by me being a bad beekeeper. I don’t think I have been ruthless enough in destroying the unwanted queen cells which has encouraged the bees to swarm. So today I went through all the frames and squished every single queen cell except one nice big one in each hive. Hopefully I’ll soon have 2 new queen bees who will be better behaved than Liz and Vicky.
One consolation is that I have inadvertently boosted the local wild honey bee population which can only be a good thing.