Photos by Nick Thorp.
A slightly brisk day but still feeling like autumn, good
discussions were had around hive construction, parts and
Still no sign of winter at all which begs the question, do your
bees need varroa treatment again?
With the mild conditions a fair amount of pollen is being
brought into the hives, this means that the brood rearing is
still going ahead quite well and therefore the varroa will be
breeding faster too.
Please check varroa levels and feed levels, if we have winter
weather when the calendar gets to spring time then we could be
looking at a lot of hive losses.
With the success of the first two training days, the format
of the booklet was revised so that as people came to training
days they would be able to accumulate a note and referance
book over the next 2 years. now just 21 more lessons left to
A rather cold day not suitable for opening hives at all even
though winter hasnt really arrived form a weather point of
The bees were still robbing today so we did not open the hives.
Alan, our President, talked about the different types of
allergic reactions people can have to bee stings as well as
covering the use of adrenaline in severe anaphylaxis
With the days getting shorter, colder and the sun lower in the
sky we need to keep an eye on feed levels for the winter thats
Today was the first of our "newbie" training days and was
held at Bruces place in Fernside. A generally lovely day with
discussions around feeder types and asking the ultimate
question "why to you really want to be a beekeeper?"
The training morning concluded with a social byo lunch in the
sun and a cuppa.
Robbing season has started in Clarkville..... Be aware that bees
can get into any gap of 4mm or greater, so keep a good lid on
anything that smells like honey. If you are using bee escapes to
get the bees out of the honey boxes use masking tape on any gaps
otherwise all the honey will get robbed out in a quick fashion.
Anything with honey or wax on it that isn't covered gets mauled.
Make sure you move efficiently and keep things covered top and
bottom. The bees are more than happy to fly or crawl, up or down
to get at honey or sugar and will fight (even from the same
hive) to get it.
Sometimes it can be difficult removing frames due to propolis
build up or in this case, rogue comb. Separating frames gently
and properly before removal is key to not damaging the woodware
and also reducing the number of bees killed. Mark any boxes
where there is a rebate at the top or the bee space underneath
the frames is too large and when the robbing subsides these
boxes can be replaced and then trimmed to size for future use.
Before applying your varroa treatments you need to determine the
amount and location of brood, otherwise the medication may be
ineffective if incorrectly placed.
Wearing gloves while handling any chemicals is very important,
even if they are just nitrile gloves like these.
Despite the robbing we had a good turn out and treated the 4
club hives with Apivar, removed the excess honey (leaving a box
per hive) and had some good discussions about wintering down
over a cup of tea.
Well, another new year is in full flight, with February come
and almost gone in the night, whats with this weather and
wonder altogether, what will this winter bring along?
The first meeting for 2016 had a good turn out, welcoming three
visitors and for those who could make it, thanks for coming
along in this busy time of year.
While inspecting the hive we came across a few things to note.
Firstly that even, square spacing of frames is important,
otherwise bur comb will be built up and secondly, will need to
be removed to avoid frame damage when removing the frames.
Lastly here, pointing out a top recess on the box (gap above the
frames) will cause lots of bur comb between boxes if you are
normally using a bottom recess box.
The nuc's that were made up before Christmas have done a little
too well and have been moved into full sized boxes now. Using
the light of the sun behind you makes inspecting frames a whole
The bees in this hive seem to think Autumn has come early,
packing down the brood nest with plenty of pollen and honey with
small worker brood sizes and a fair few drones.
Thanks again to all who came and hopefully see some different
faces next month, happy beekeeping in the meantime.