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.

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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.

Weds 8th

A few people made it for the early start. We got a fair bit done, between the showers,  two shook swarms to get the colonies into new frames, floors and brood boxes, and as a form of varroa control. We also transferred the Overwintered nuc into a fresh nuc box, then called it a day as the cold wind had made it quite chilly.

Beginners got their hands on some real bees, albeit briefly, and the colonies we shook swarmed behaved themselves better than expected! I’ll be making regular visits to them to top up feed to help them draw comb, and also to remove the brood combs we left, once sealed, to further reduce the varroa load.

Patrick, if you read this, can you contact me, at dick.bunting@ntlworld.com please?

2019 Season

Hello all. We plan to restart the apiary sessions on Wednesday 8th May. As always, these are strictly for DDBKA members, due to insurance requirements.

In previous years we’ve learnt that we fairly soon run out of light early and late in the season with 1800 starts. So we plan to begin next Weds at 1600, 4pm in old money! Sorry if this is inconvenient for some, as light improves we can move the start time later.

I have set up a closed Facebook page, Eythorne Bees. Please if you’re on Facebook, join this!

Hope to see you Weds.

Wednesday Sessions

That’s it folks! For 2018. Wednesday Sessions are over for the year, and I’m off on my hols!

The bees are now tucked up for winter, first Apiguard is on, and inspections are all but over.

We’ll put the second Apiguard on in a couple of weeks, check their stores and if necessary feed, possibly at the September meeting.

Then it’s winter wraps (against woodpeckers) and mouseguards, and leave them alone until the solstice when we’ll treat again, with ApiBioxal this time. (Oxalic acid in an expensive disguise!)

Thanks to all who supported the Wednesday Sessions, you’re a great bunch! Hope to see some of all when we start up again in Spring, and at our monthly meetings. Don’t forget our annual show at Shepherdswell last Saturday in October.