Autumn / WINTER

Well, that’s it for this year folks. Winter wraps are on. Pete and I will get the mouseguards on, and we’ll be checking stores by hefting periodically.

Around the Solstice we’ll do the oxalic acid varroa treatment. We’ll use the licensed Apibioxal of course, and we’ll “vape” it.

We’ll post here, and on FB when we’re going to do it, so keep an eye out if you want to come along and see how it’s done.

2nd October 2019

We’ll meet at 1630 this Weds. The plan is to give the hives a feed of syrup to top up the ivy honey they are bringing in. I was going to put the winter wraps on, but of course feeding will involve an extra super box on top to surround the feeders, so that will wait. Woodpecker attack is not likely just yet in any case!

The Asian Hornet found in the Ashford area is believed to be a one off, possibly one that hitched a lift in a vehicle from the continent. Certainly no nest was found. I’m wary of complacency, and very grateful to Sal Fountain and Steve Woods for their work in monitoring the Eythorne Apiary, but we can probably now revert to being watchful when we visit.

See you Wednesday evening.

26 sept 2019

Hi all. I took advantage of the break in the weather to check the Apiary today. All hives flying well, no Asian Hornets seen!

You’ll remember we had a lot of wild comb in H7 in the Apiguard eke. We scraped it off onto the crown board, reduced the feed hole to a very small aperture and replaced it on the hive putting the eke on top and then the roof? The theory was that the bees would move the honey down into the main body of the hive. Well, today they had, the comb was clean as a whistle! I scraped it out into a bag and removed the eke. It’s good to see the bees do read the same books as us some times!

The hives are putting on weight with the ivy honey nicely. Hive 2, which was light, is catching up. I think we’ll give a supplementary feed of invert syrup either on Saturday or next Wednesday evening. It’s generally considered best to feed in the evening to minimize risk of robbing.

Then we can put on woodpecker protection, and mouseguards. Personally, I prefer to wait until the ivy is finished flowering for bodyguards as they tend to knock the pollen off as bees go through them. Others say they never bother with them. Having seen the mess and smell nice make in a hive, I always do!

See you Saturday, or next Weds (weather permitting), time to be decided, but no later than 1700.

18th September

We’ll meet at 1700 tomorrow. Subject / task, winterising hives.

I’m sure you all know an Asian Hornet has been confirmed in the Ashford area. Uncomfortably close. We have been exhorted to  check on our hives daily if possible, watching for Asian Hornet predation. Also checking any nearby ivy. You can download the Asian Hornet app from FERA non native species secretariat to smartphones. This has pictures to help id suspects, and to send photos and reports.

Please consider if you’d be prepared to give 15 minutes from time to time to do likewise at Eythorne. The more volunteers the less often you’ll be called upon. I’ve got three other apiaries, and Pete’s got two, so you’d be helping us out greatly.