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  • Writer's pictureLinda

The bees are coming back!

Cliffe Castle Bee Blog #2 2023

The bees will arrive back at the Museum on Monday 17 April! It will be an early start for Steve, Lee, Linda, and Sally, from the Museum staff.

The colony, which we checked on Good Friday, was doing well with several frames of eggs and brood and older bees flying strongly in the warm sunshine. We didn’t see the queen during this quick check, but the eggs and brood on frames showed that she was there.

Another sign that the colony is doing well was finding some drone brood on the frames. Drones are the male bees of the colony, and they are bigger and bulkier than the workers or the queen. They need bigger cells on the comb to give them enough space to grow properly. The queen will only lay eggs that become drones when the colony is growing well enough to support them. They eat a lot of food, but don’t help to collect it!

In this picture, can you see the bigger, capped, drone cells on the left-hand side? The smaller, flatter, capped cells to the right are those of worker bees, the ones that are female and do all the jobs to keep the colony going. You may be able to see some drone brood on frames in the observation hive this year. It is often on the outer edges of the frame.


After the colony is brought back to Cliffe Castle Museum, wou will be able to see the bees again in our Observation Hive from Tuesday 18 April.


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