First Apiary Day Saturday 21st April

The Sun shone as we all arrived. Lots of anticipation and excitement as we all donned our suits and walked over to the Apiary. We started with a briefing from Margaret around safety and dos and don’ts. We then all had the opportunity to light our Smokers and get familiar with smoke control and some good tips on what to use.

We made our way round to the Apiary. There are three hives, unfortunately one had not survived the winter and we will have an update on the cause a little later in the season. We split up into two groups.

Sam P. took one hive and Margaret the other. Sam’s group were greeted with a busy hive lots of brood, capped and uncapped, capped honey (plenty of stores). The inspection board showed signs of a high varroa count and last year’s records would be checked as to review treatments and next steps. We found the Queen, caged her and then proceeded to pop her back into the brood box and the queen excluder in place. The Hive records were updated and the Hive closed.

Margaret’s group, again greeted by a busy Hive, no Queen was spotted, but again lots of brood, and stores.

Both hives had a good temper considering the conditions and it had been the first time this year they had been inspected.

I forgot to mention the downpour in the middle of our inspection, but that did not dampen spirits and the bees did not appear to bothered.

I would encourage any new bee keeper to attend the sessions. It is a good way to network and learn, grow in confidence in preparation for becoming a competent bee keeper.

Please visit our Events page for up and coming events and Apiary Days - you want be disappointed.

Gaynor Imrie


BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Social science study on how best to support beekeepers and bee farmers through education, information and advice
    20 January 2021
    Understanding how turnover (“churn”) among beekeepers can be managed and review information sources, learning methods and use of social media, to develop resources to support the beekeeping sector.

    Defra and Welsh Government have commissioned a social science study to gather information about different aspects of education and training. This includes getting a better understanding of how the turnover of beekeepers can be managed. It will also review information sources, learning methods and use of social media. The third part of the project will evaluate current continuous professional development schemes and resources to support bee farmers. The study which has just begun, has been contracted to ICF Consulting who have carried out a number of research projects in other areas for Defra. We are hoping that many beekeepers will participate in the project which will include a survey and further details will be announced soon.

    This work links into the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, working together to improve honey bee health and husbandry in England & Wales.
  • COVID-19 and Beekeeping update
    11 January 2021
    This is a re-issue of the guidance provided in October 2020:

    Please find the latest Covid-19 beekeeping guidance. The update includes separate links to the current Public Health Guidance for England, Wales and Scotland.

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v3

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3

    If you have any queries please contact:

    For England: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.uk
    For Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymru
    For Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot
  • Starvation and Varroa Alert
    04 December 2020
    Observations from beekeepers and Bee Inspectors across the UK suggest that some colonies of bees are becoming short of food.

    Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter. If they need feeding at this time then fondant should be used. This should be placed above the brood nest so that the bees are able to access it easily.

    For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

    It has also been observed that Varroa levels in some hives are starting to increase again. This may be due to a number of factors, but the exceptionally mild weather this autumn has encouraged some colonies to produce more brood than usual which has allowed an increase in mite reproduction.

    Please monitor mite levels and treat accordingly.

    For further information, please see the’ Managing Varroa’ Advisory leaflet on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167