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First Association Zoom meeting on Saturday 28th at 7.30pm

We are having our first Association Zoom meeting on Saturday 28th at 7.30 pm.
Andrew Brown of the B4 Project will be talking about the native black bee, their work to conserve it, and the science that could affect the way you could choose to look after your bees.
To join just click on the link below or copy and paste onto your browser. This is our first event, so please be patient with us and we hope to see you on our screens 🙂

Topic: Bringing Back the Black Bee
Time: Nov 28, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 843 9763 0574
Passcode: 713798

Final Apiary report 22nd October, 2020

In attendance:
Graham Rowden
Rowen Roberts
Chris Clark

The main purposes of this apiary visit were:
1. Put up two remaining mouse guards
2. Check stores
3. Remove MAQS
4. Put up woodpecker netting

Rowan Roberts

Chris Clark

I would like to start by admitting a school-boy error of feeding hive 20 above the super. None of the syrup was taken down as this should be placed immediately above the brood box. This was done and a full super (that was for extracting from Brian’s colony) placed above it. We plan to do a couple more feeds for this colony before the winter.
All other colonies looked well placed for the winter.
It is good to place woodpecker netting before the ground begins to get hard with the frost. This, the last of our winter preparations, was done with the netting available. (see video).
The spent MAQS were removed from the treated colonies.

1. Two more feeds for hive 20
2. Check apiary from time to time especially after bad weather
3. Prune oak branches over Brian’s colony
4. Plan apiary management for next year


This is the last ‘Apiary Report’ of the season.
They haven’t been done in the usual way of a table, but more of pictures, pros, and video demonstrations that we thought would be more helpful, hopefully giving you a flavour of what has been happening at the apiary.
If you have any comments/suggestions we would be grateful if you would share them with us.

Apiary report 12th October 2020

In attendance:
Graham Rowden
Rowan Roberts
Chris Clark
The main purposes of this apiary visit were:
1. Apply MAQS treatments
2. Put in mouse guards
3. Check stores
In view of the cooler 12 degrees C, hive manipulation was kept to a minimum, with inspection of the brood from above only.
Of the 11 colonies at the apiary 9 were treated with MAQS. (See video)
Queen excluders and entrance reducers were removed and mouse guards installed. (See video)
All colonies had sufficient stores apart from Hive 20 which was subsequently treated with 2:1 syrup in rapid feeder.
(See Rowan’s video synopsis below)
Continue feeding Hive 20
Put in the two remaining mouse guards
Put up woodpecker netting
Remove MAQS treatment, all next visit
Useful link:

Apiary report 10th September 2020

In attendance:
Rowan Roberts
Chris Clark

The primary purpose of this visit, now that the main honey crop has been harvested, was to perform a disease inspection – This was of both adult bees and brood. Once the queen had been located the frames of brood were shaken in or order to obtain a clearer view and facilitate early detection of brood diseases.
Of the nine colonies examined only two showed deformed wings secondary to severe varroosis. No other diseases were evident.

(See Rowan’s video synopsis below).

N.B. I believe Peter’s colony also had a problem with varroa.

Plan: Order MAQS for appropriate treatment.

Useful link in Diagnosis of Honeybee Diseases:

Apiary report 2nd Sepember 2020

In attendance:
Graham Rowden
Rowan Roberts
Anne-Chantal Ballard
Chris Clark

Apart from the routine checks, the primary objective was to put in entrance-reducers in order to help prevent robbing mainly from wasps but also bees from other colonies. This can be achieved in various ways as shown in the pictures. Mindful of the main nectar flow about to finish we did in some cases ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’. (Not literally Peter!) By giving colonies with a dearth of stores a super from one which had an excess.
Richard’s parent colony, which had an artificial swarm performed earlier, had made a remarkable recovery from the last inspection.
Also shown in the pictures was the characteristic pattern of Himalayan Balsam pollen on the thorax of the worker bees – Sometimes they become so covered that they appear like ‘ghost bees’. The older workers can be distinguished from the younger by the lack of hairs on their thorax.
We were happy with the state of all colonies inspected – looking set for moving into winter.

– Row 1, left: Conventional reducer.
– Row 1, middle, right
-Row 2, left, middle (Less conventional reducers, but equally effective).
– Row 2, top: Himalayan Balsam pollen.
– Row 2, bottom: Older worker with bald thorax.

Apiary report 9th August 2020

Chris Clarks Apiary report.

In attendance
Rowan Roberts
Chris Clark

Despite a 09.00 start the temperature was 27 degrees C by the time we left. The bees were very docile. Apart from Richards colony, which only had open brood on one frame, all were strong, healthy and productive. Supers were put above crown boards with porter-escapes in three colonies for extracting. Once these are returned there will be more to extract.
(See Rowans resume below).