Tuesday 18 July 2017

Newsletter July 2017

Dear Beekeeper
Colonies should now be at their peak numbers to collect nectar for the usual summer flow.
To that end members have been uniting small colonies and spare nucs to achieve a maximum gathering population. 
Some of the uniting has been forced due to instances of laying workers or drone-laying queens.
These two problems have the same result if left – a colony full of drones & little else – doomed!
Laying workers can develop when a colony has been queenless for over 3 weeks.
Laying workers show multiple eggs in worker cells leading to lumpy, distorted comb. To rectify, shake the entire colony off the combs at a distance from the hive; unite the ones which fly back to a good nuc or small colony.
A drone-laying queen is viable, but useless & must be killed & replaced. She may have been poorly mated.
Varroa Mite
The National Bee Unit has issued a warning re high varroa mite numbers.
We have purchased Apiguard varroa treatments for DDBKA members @ £1.75 per tray.
You will need 2 trays per colony, so come & get yours at the July meeting.  You will also need an eke or shallow box to allow space for the tray above the brood after you have taken off your honey crop. It is essential that you treat your colonies against this constant problem, whether with Apiguard [a thymol treatment] or an alternative.
Apiary Wednesdays
Dick & Peter’s Wednesday 6:30 pm sessions at our Eythorne out-apiary CT15 4AD are successful & busy; members needing a problem solved, hands-on experience, or some equipment.
Beginner members are especially welcome.
Dick now has a blog which you can check if a session may be cancelled due to poor weather, check before 3pm on the day: https://eythornebees.wordpress.com/
International Meeting of Young Beekeepers
The BBKA report that the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB), held recently in England, was a big success. It was reported on BBC Radio 4 Farming Today [before 6 am!] but can be accessed via this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08x4rdq
It will also be covered on BBC1's Countryfile on July 23rd 7pm.
Wasps and Hornets
More things to worry about! An Asian Hornet nest has been found in Jersey. Wasps are becoming evident here. Also hive thefts in Sellindge. Stay vigilant! Get your wasp/hornet traps out.
This month’s meeting
Saturday 29th July at Beech Grove, Forest Drive, Nonington CT15 4FB.
  • There is a purpose built apiary with Langstroth hives, very interesting to see, in a woodland setting. Bring clean suits, wellies & rubber gloves. Bring glasses if you wear them! We will have suits to borrow for beginners & observers.
  • Tea [£1] and raffle as usual. All refreshment monies will go to our hosts, the Bruderhof community, who provide lovely food & friendly hospitality.
  • Return your Library books & choose another.
I hope you come along, it is very useful to see other apiaries.

Best Wishes.