Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Ugly House Stud Farm for Bees

Ten virgin queens in hair curlers
Dare I say there’s a buzz at Tŷ Hyll? I love this photo of a proud beekeeper with ten virgin queens in ‘hair curlers’ which protect the queens from attack by a rival; the first new queen to hatch in any colony will kill potential competitors as soon as they emerge.

All ten of these virgin queens have now been placed in the Ugly House woodland in separate apideas (mini hives) along with a cupful of fondant and some young worker bees. After a couple of days the virgin queen in each apidea will have been accepted by the workers and can be released from the hair curler.

The virgin queens will be sniffing out the pheromones of the resident, roving drones at Tŷ Hyll and all being well, mating will take place in the next week or so. Each mated queen can go on to produce over a million bees during her life without the need to mate again – amazing!

If you’ve not yet been to the Ugly House (Tŷ Hyll) it is two miles out of Betws y Coed on the way to Capel Curig with an olde worlde tearoom, beautiful wildlife garden with five acres of idyllic woodland and enthusiastic beekeepers. More details at

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