Wednesday 12 August 2015

Newsletter August 2015

Dear Beekeeper

Dick Bunting writes:
On 16/17th July, we held 2 follow up days to the Bee Improvement For All day at Elham in February.
Roger Patterson visited our apiary, and over the two days 14 of our members were given the benefit of his long (50yrs) experience.
We covered assessment of colonies as breeding material, looking for the traits we would want to perpetuate and improve in our bees, and went on to methods of rearing queens. Several methods were covered, and we then went on to gain hands on practice at "grafting" tiny larvae into cell cups to be placed into colonies for raising. We even had a diversion involving dowsing for ley lines, which resulted in moving the Top Bar hive slightly! There was also some mischief marking drones pink.
All agreed that the days were enlightening and, importantly, very enjoyable.


The weather for those days was kind as it was for our July meeting, very wet on the Friday & Sunday. Wasp invasions have been limited at the apiary, my jam, water & orange juice traps seem to work, and the hives have been restricted to 1 or 2 bee space entrances but others have suffered badly. It is important to destroy their nest, wasps are very persistent.

Any honey to sell should be removed before you treat colonies for varroa.
Apiguard will be put into the apiary hives on 16th August, remember it needs an eke to allow the bees to paddle in the gel. The thymol vapour should knock out 95% of any mites. If you missed getting any, Philip has some, as do I.
2 weeks for the first tray, on the brood frames, then put in the other for 2 weeks.

Feeding is planned for September.
It is easy to make your own sugar solutions to boost your hive stores to face the winter. 2 pounds of white sugar to 1 pint of hot water [p 283 in August 2015 BBKA News has the metric equivalent!]
35 to 40 pounds in weight of stores is considered adequate to feed a colony through the cold.

Poundstretcher, near Morrisons in Dover, has cane sugar for 49p per kilo.

Many of you have told me you will enrol on Mary’s beginners’ classes. So far just one firm booking with payment has been received [Steve Atkins]. Hire of the hall has to be covered & the course will be cancelled if Mary does not hear from you before September 12th. The application form is on the website.

Beecraft magazine are looking for ideas to feature in 2016, is there a topic you might like to see discussed? Let me know.


Remember the new bee stamps being issued by Royal Mail on August 18th.

Best wishes



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