Tuesday 17 May 2011

Newsletter May 2011

Dear Beekeeper
The first meeting at our new apiary was very well attended and once we sort the parking out and the best place to catch the afternoon sun, it will be even better.

Mary demonstrating

brood frame

white: eggs, yellow: larvae, orange:jelly

workers tending brood

workers on foundation with drop of honey

We have very good news; the Co-op Communities Fund has awarded our Association a grant of £1600 towards the expenses of setting up the apiary and the new shed. It is a very generous donation, which should be featured in this week’s Dover Express.

The honey extractor has been borrowed 3 times already, so an early honey crop is being taken by some. Oil seed rape honey should be extracted before it is completely capped or it will granulate in the comb. I saw a hive with 5 supers at Church Hougham!

But early swarming has caught some beekeepers out; you must check your colonies weekly. If they have already swarmed, the bees should be left alone, waiting for their new queen to emerge, mate and begin to lay, a 3 week process.
To prevent this, take action at the first sign of queen cells being built. Carry out an artificial swarm by separating the old queen from the queen cells you have noticed. This must be done before the queen cells are sealed, the swarm will take off once they are sealed unless you have taken action. The consequence will be that half your summer honey gatherers will disappear probably to be collected by some lucky beekeeper or to really irritate your neighbours!
BBKA News May p.7 explains all, but spare boxes and frames should be to hand.

We have received a generous gift of beekeeping books for our Library from Dr Peter Oldreive’s widow Margaret, many thanks to her.