19th July

Forecast is horrendous. Could well be another washout. Watch this space. I’ll confirm either way before 1500.

Weds 5th June

A bit of a fun evening, getting hands on and learning and practising queen marking with drones. So if any beekeepers in the Eythorne / Shepherdswell area find drones turning up in their hives with coloured dots on, this is the reason!

We also transferred the Langstroth nuc into a full hive.

1700 again, weather permitting, when we should do some hive inspections. Jackie and I ran a virgin Queen into hive 1 last week, smoking heavily. (Bees that is, not us!) Let’s hope they have accepted her, as their temper seriously needed improvement!

Weds 29th May

Horrible evening! Wet, cold, bees had far to much sense to fly, and we didn’t open any hives.

A good tidy and bonfire was the order of the day, so in the end it was well worthwhile.

Perhaps in future on such evenings we might adjourn to the Crown for refreshment and a question and answer session?

Having been asked about Queen marking, I think next week we’ll cover this. I’ll get some marking equipment sets, and people can have a go, practising with drones.

Again, we’ll go for a 1700 start next week, 5th June. See you then.

Wednesday 22nd May

A busy evening. All colonies were examined. Maggie Harrowell supported the usual suspects, and took a group through a couple of hives.

Jackie and Eric checked the Langstroth, where we had put a test comb the previous week, as they had been seemingly queenless for some time. The test comb had no queen cells, but, Lo and Behold, eggs and young brood had appeared on the original combs. It seems that adding a test comb, apart from confirming queenlessness, can stimulate a young queen to lay by the introduction of brood pheromones. The nuc we had prepared to requeen the Langstroth colony may now have to be transferred into a full hive. 

The poly hive is building well, as are colonies 1 and 5, which we shook swarmed a couple of weeks ago.

One colony had made Queen cells, a Queenright nuc had been taken out to prevent swarming, and cells were reduced to one.

Next week, 29th May, we will start an hour later at 1700hrs.

WEDS 15th MAY

The weather was kind to us at last. A lovely warm evening, the bees busy at their work.

We’ve moved another three hives into Eythorne from my apiary, to ensure that we have suitable colonies for the BBKA Basic Exam in June.

The colony dedicated to Mary’s work with beginners at the monthly meetings has expanded nicely and we moved that into a full sized Poly hive. This was a colony overwintered in a nuc.

The two colonies shook swarmed last week were busy, and still had syrup in feeders.

The Langstroth nuc, set up with a Queen from Jackie’s apiary in order to requeen the Langstroth hive is progressing well. There was no sign of eggs or brood in the Langstroth, despite the emerged Queen Cell a couple of three weeks ago, but to be on the safe side we put a test comb of brood in to confirm that they were queenless. ( this will also prevent workers starting to lay). Once confirmed, we’ll combine the nuc with the main hive.

The meeting next week will once again be at 1600. As the summer progresses we will move the start time back. Apologies to all who can’t make the earlier start times, hopefully in a few weeks we’ll be back to 1800.