27 Aug 2020

Feeding time for the bees

Martin Davies

There have been the distinct white stripes on returning bees who have been foraging on this plant, but we still have to locate the source of Balsam near to the Garden. The heather is out on the hills and the meadows still have a bit of knapweed with hungry bees foraging in the windows of good weather between storms.

So, the day of inspections this week the forecast was bright with the wind getting stronger throughout the day, with this in mind we started our checks a bit earlier than usual to try to beat the weather. We have had, along with beekeepers in the area, a starvation notice from the National Bee Unit, so our priority is to make sure our bees have enough stores. Prior to visiting the apiaries, plenty of syrup has been made up and distributed it to the apiaries in readiness for feeding as necessary. It’s always good to be prepared!

The bees seem to be Ok for stores at the moment which is a relief. We still have the ivy to come into flower and the balsam will available for a bit longer so hopefully the bees will be able to get out and make use of these to boost their stores for winter.

We still have some Honey supers to take off, so we put on clearer boards on the respective hives. This will enable the bees to leave the boxes as they have one-way entrances so that we can take them off in a couple of days with as little disturbance as possible. I was quite relieved that these colonies are still going to yield a crop. It is not going to be a bumper year but at least it’s something.

We also checked our floor inserts to check the mite drop after the application of the thymol treatment last week. The mite drop appeared to be very low if non-existent? I am a bit suspicious of this result, as I suspect the debris has been blown off the boards!

Now must go, as I need to strap down hives to prevent any being blown over in the predicted strong winds!

Lynda Christie

August 21, 2020