A little bit of sunshine goes a long way
The bees are now enjoying the much awaited warmer weather that we have been enjoying this last week.
We are pleased to report that the nucleus hives that we divided from strong colonies earlier this season, have mostly re-queened and the new queens appear to have been mated during the last week and have started laying eggs.
We are looking forward to finding the new queens next time and marking them with this year’s colour, white.
We will then start to make decisions about the older queens and decide if we will replace them or let the bees decide and allow them to create queen cells to supersede the old queen when they are ready. Decisions, decisions!
We continue to check the colonies for Varroa mites and have seen a few mites on the drone brood. As a precaution, we decided to treated each apiary with a one-off formic acid treatment to knock these down and hopefully prevent a build-up of mites in the colonies. Despite our best efforts of monitoring and control measures throughout the season we struggle to eliminate this dastardly pest, but if we continue to reduce the load, hopefully the bees will not be adversely affected.
Some of the colonies are still a little light on stores so we are hoping the good weather continues and the bees can access the nectar from the Horse chestnut and sycamore trees. Many plants seem to have been held back this spring waiting for the warmer weather, so we are hoping that they bounce back and produce plenty of nectar for the bees and insects, so that we don’t have a “June Gap” this year.
Let’s hope the brambles kick in nice and early and provide a lovely honey crop for the bees and some for us to take off and share with the visitors in the coming months!
Ecosystems Trainer and Beekeeper