Wednesday 20 May 2015

Newsletter May 2015

Dear Beekeeper

At last some degree of warmth; 2 swarm calls so far. I have a list of members willing to collect swarms, but you can also advise people with swarms to go to the BBKA website where they can enter their postcode & get a list of the nearest collectors.

Here the rape flowers are finishing & beekeepers must look at their supers to see what can be harvested, rape honey granulates quickly and should be extracted from combs when they are partially capped, don’t wait for complete capping, you will be too late!

Watch for queen cells in the weekly inspections, give thought beforehand as to what action you plan to take if queen cells are found; once they are sealed your bees will swarm, losing you a large portion of the honey gatherers for the summer. So have spare equipment ready & frames made up.

A nuc box will be really useful, failing that, a brood box restricted in size by dummy boards. Even if you do not plan more colonies, it is the natural behaviour of honeybees to reproduce. If you succeed making an artificial swarm, the colony with the new queen can be united later with the older one [old queen removed] once the new queen is laying well. Then you should have honey in the summer & a new queen to take them through the winter with the swarming urge satisfied.

That’s the theory anyway! I am very strict with myself regarding 7-day inspections, but last weekend we had visitors, bees left, swarmed on the 8th day. Brilliant! Luckily a helpful neighbour told me & they were caught. It’s easily done.

Temple Ewell School Fair
They are looking for a bee stall, honey, wax, observation hive etc 11-2 on June 27th. We did it last year, but I want to attend our meeting on the same date as I shall miss the May one.
It is mercifully short & a good do. £10 fee to the school.
Contact Amanda Lomas if interested

There is a great British bee count going on during May, look on the site
Good to see the interest in all bee species.

HONEY EXTRACTORS All found! The 9 frame & the two 4 frame extractors are with Brian Marlow now, plus the 2 honey buckets with valves. Phone him to borrow for 3 day slots 01304 831505 Phew! Thanks to all who were concerned.

BEECRAFT hangout - Wednesday, 20th May at 8.00pm
This month’s topic is Honeybee Health and you can email questions beforehand, or while watching live.
Join us live via this direct link through our website:

Start looking again for KSRC courses!
Queen rearing, microscopy, bee handling. Some at Chatham Dockyard, others at the Bee Barn, Bridge.
Look on the bookings page:

 Please tell me if you are looking for bees or swarms


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