Our honeybees arrived in mid-July, after causing a bit of a buzz at the local Morvern Games, where folk could see them in the observation hive.
They were a colony from Spean Bridge, Inverness-shire. We purchased them from 50 miles away as we wanted to ensure that the bees we brought to Ardtornish are as disease free as possible. We hope that these have not yet been infested by the Varroa mite, which can decimate a colony in as little as two or three years. There are now only a few areas in Lochaber (and the UK) that are Varroa-free, and we hope Ardtornish will continue to be one of them.
We are feeding them a syrup made from one part sugar to one part water as a nectar substitute to help them build the colony up and thus give them as good a start as possible.
We hope that the weather will be better for the bees during August and September. The aim is that they become a large strong colony for entering the winter so we won’t be taking any honey off them this year (the honey is their winter stores). Fingers crossed it’ll be a different story next year …..