Notes produced periodically by the BADS-BKA intended for those new, and not so new, to the craft.
Hives & Equipment
“Brood rearing will be well underway by now, so keep checking the stores. It is too early to do an inspection, but you can change the floor board on a nice, mild day.
Gently lift the hive to one side, change or clean the floorboard, and replace the hive. You can do the same with the crown board if it is damp or dirty.
Look at the cluster and count the seams of bees, but do not move the frames at all. Now that the bees are more active, the mouse-guard can be taken off.
Make up any spare equipment you might need, for swarm control or increase. Swarming comes early in good weather, and you don’t want to be caught with everything still flatpacked when you need to use it”.Thanks to June Rowbottom. Harrogate and Ripon Bee-Keepers’ Association.
“In early March life in the colony is starting to speed up, the amount of brood increases sharply and a colony can consume up to 5lbs (2.3kg) of stores per week. It is too early to carry out a full inspection, but you can lift the crown board and look at the seams of bees.
If the colony is small, (2-4 seams of bees), isolation starvation is a possibility. This is where the bees have difficulty in accessing the stores because moving out from the cluster they get too cold.The solution is to move the frames of stores into positions either side of the cluster and start feeding.
Feeding can be ‘dry’ or ‘wet’.
Dry feeding with candy means that the food can be left on the hive for a long time without serious deterioration and the bees can use it as and when they want. It does require the bees to have access to water, but this is easier than them having to find forage. Syrup tends to ferment and can give the bees diarrhoea”.From Wally Shaw, BSc. Beecraft
If you want to use candy, Paul Mann, the Association’s Education Officer, can supply candy from a reputable source in small, handy-sized, returnable containers at £1.00 each.
Paul can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01202 773844.
If you have not renewed your membership yet, please do so as soon as possible by completing the membership application form from the Contact Us section on the web site bads-bka.org, and sending with a cheque to John McKee, La Gavina, 27 Egmont Drive,
Avon Castle, Ringwood. BH24 2BN. Please include your Email address.
For registration, John has to notify membership to the BBKA by early March.
Steve Gay from Ringwood alerted us to a very good BBC World Service programme on honey and bees at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00dcg0t
March Evening Meeting
March’s evening meeting is on ‘Bees and Horticulture’ with Andy Willis and is at 7.30pm at West Parley on Tuesday 22nd.
This is the last of this winter’s meetings and following Andy’s lecture, Paul Mann will answer questions on preparing for the coming season.
Peter Darley, Newsletter Editor