Today, after our dinner of Sag Aloo and chapatis, we've had a fascinating time looking at the beehives with our resident bee-expert Peter Dykes.
We looked at how the workers have 'drawn-out' the foundation in both the supers and the brood sections of the hive. The brood is where the queen lay the eggs and the new workers and drones develop. It only takes 10 days for the eggs to hatch out into adult workers. In the supers section, the queen is excluded by a 'queen-excluder' mesh. This means that any honey in this section is free of eggs and available for us to eat.
We learned how the hive consists of worker bees, drones (males) and just one queen. If there happens to be more than one then it's likely that one of the queens will lead a swarm away from the hive to set up a new one.
We used a smoker device to help subdue the bees; this tricks the bees into behaving as if the hive is on fire. Their natural reaction is to gorge themselves on honey in order to remove this from the hive to safety. This means they become docile and much less inclined to sting. But we still wear the traditional protective suits and gloves just in case!