Topic: Bringing Back the Black Bee
Time: Nov 28, 2020 07:30 PM London
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
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.
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:
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.
Chris Clarks Apiary report.
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).