30 Sept 2021

Beekeeping Blog: Going into Autumn

Martin Davies

Going into Autumn

It’s definitely starting to feel autumnal, there are misty starts to the day followed by bright sunshine and the odd shower in between. There are just a few leaves starting to fall which I find always an awesome sight and we have the seasonal colours to look forward to in the next few weeks.

The honey crop has been taken off and mostly extracted, some having been bottled and taken to the shop for sale, and some in store to supply retail next spring and summer.

The colonies have all been left with at least a super of stores to help get them through the winter months. The Asters and Sedums are out in flower so there are still areas of forage within the Botanic Garden, but the hedgerow is looking pretty sparse. Although there is evidence of Himalayan Balsam being used as the bees have white stripes on their backs when they arrive back from a foraging trip and very soon the Ivy will be in flower to provide some top-up stores for the honeybees and food for other pollinators.

We have recently completed disease inspections on our colonies and checked the Varroa mite load of each Hive. A couple of our colonies had higher numbers than we would like, so we have decided to treat all of our apiaries with a Varroa treatment. This will ensure that our winter bees will not be weakened by a heavy mite infestation and be in the best condition to get through the long months ahead.

Our application to enter exhibits in the National Honey Show has been sent off and now we need to get making lots of candles, wax exhibits, bottling Honey and practising our cake recipes for the show in late October. We will also be manning a “Saving Pollinators” stand at the show to showcase the work of our Science Team and Growing the Future project. This will also give us the opportunity to exhibit our Brood Frame display made by the Stitching Botanicals Group and share our work on the Saving Pollinators Assurance Scheme. It feels good to actually be able to attend a live show and we are very much looking forward to sharing our work with others