Archive for March 2015

Apiary:29th March-Preparation Day

Well done to everyone who made it to the Apiary on such a windy and showery day.      It was good to see all the new members helping out and getting invaluable hands on experience,  making up and cleaning frames and foundation even if it was in extreme conditions and thanks to all the experienced members who helped out mentoring them.

We managed to scrape and flame clean deep and shallow boxes, queen excluders and crownboards, made up over 50  new shallow frames with foundation and 20 deep frames  along with 2 new supers,  ready for the new season.

Thanks to all those who helped out and to Liz Hawes for the lovely cake and teas/coffee.

Hope to see you all again on the first full meeting on 12th April, lets hope the weather is better.

– Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams

Apiary:April Outlook

Apiary 150319 02During the first three weeks of March two trustee visits were made to check the hives for stores. Three colonies are being fed. All eight colonies appear to be active.

As mentioned last month, the annual Apiary Cleaning Day will take place at the Apiary on Sunday 29th March 14:15. Please come along and assist. Frame hammers and blowtorches would be very welcome. Further details are on the website and in last months Newsletter.

The weekly schedule of Apiary meetings will commence on Sunday 12th April, Sunday 5th April being Easter. Apiary 150319 03The 2015 Beginners will start their practical experience and those taking the BBKA Basic Assessment will commence their practical preparations under the tutelage of Hilary Hayward. If any experienced members would like to assist the Beginners at any specific meeting please let us know (for scheduling purposes). It would be nice to expose them to the full breadth of beekeeping experience the association can offer.

The brood inspections will allow us to better understand where the hives are in their seasonal development and what we need to do, if anything, to assist their spring build-up. It is intended that all queens be marked by the end of the month. Spring varroa drop monitoring should be completed. Once the drones start appearing we can use drone uncapping and if necessary culling to help manage the varroa populations. Drone culling may also be used to minimise the production of mature drones from any hives with less than desirable traits. Hopefully the first ‘super’ will be on most colonies.

As always:- we can only give you an indication of what we expect, no guarantees can be given! We will provide posts on the association website prior to each meeting and a copy of the apiary records can also be found there. So come along and interact, if you have any ideas for the apiary meetings let us know.

– Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams

Black foundation

Just looking at the new Mann Lake catalogue.Does anyone know the advantages of black foundation?

only that you can see eggs more clearly maybe.

cheers Richard

Apiary:19th March-Food Check

Apiary 150319

Weather :    6C   Cold breeze  and overcast.        No bees flying.    Woodpecker cages still on,    Hive Roof removed for temp check and replaced immediately.

Hive #1 Temperature at crownboard   19C     – surrounding temp  6.8C.    Hefted hive and stores OK

Hive #2 Temperature at crownboard   23C    – surrounding temp  6.8C     Hefted hive and stores OK

Hive #3 Temperature at crownboard   16.3C – surrounding temp   7.3C     Previous fondant feed taken, Refilled  and replaced.

Hive #4 Temperature at crownboard    17C    – surrounding temp   6.8C    Hefted hive and stores OK

Hive #5 Temperature at crownboard    17C    – surrounding temp   5.8C     Stores on but not taken down, left on.

Hive #6 Temperature at crownboard    18C     – surrounding temp  6.2C    Hefted hive and stores OK

Hive #7 Temperature at crownboard    18.3C – surrounding temp   5.8C    Previous feed taken down, fondant replaced

Hive #8 Temperature at crownboard    14.6C – surrounding temp   5.8C    Hefted hive and stores OK

Those in attendance –  Liz Hawes,  Fred Whetnall, Brad Davis,  Richard Williams.

– Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams

2014 National Honey Show Lectures

Youtube videos of the 2104 National Honey Show  lecture series .


Apiary:5th March – Warming up

Weather: 8C, fair

Time: 14:30

Hive#1: Hefted Heavy. Crownboard closed and temperature: 15.8C. Bees flying.

Hive#2: Hefted Medium. Crownboard closed and temperature: 18.6C. Pollen Bees.

Hive#3: Hefted Light, previous feed gone, replaced with 500g Fondant. Crownboard closed and temperature: 14.5C. Bees flying.

Hive#4: Hefted Heavy. Crownboard open and temperature: 15C. Pollen bees.

Hive#5: Hefted Light, Fondant left. Crownboard closed and temperature: 16.4C. Bees flying.

Hive#6: Hefted Heavy. Crownboard open and temperature: 15.6C. Pollen bees flying.

Hive#7: Hefted Light, previous feed gone, replaced with 500g Fondant. Crownboard closed and temperature: 21C. Bees flying.

Hive#8: Hefted Medium. Crownboard closed and temperature: 15C. Bees flying.

No outstanding actions.

– Brad Davis, Fred Whetnall, Richard Williams

Bee Forage available 1/3/15

february garden flowers

february garden flowers

more february garden  flowers

more february garden flowers

february wild flowers

february wild flowers

Only two natural plants are flowering for our bees now, gorse and hazel, but there are many blooming in gardens to provide bees with forage when the sun is shining and the temperature above 10C