Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Barrowby Scouts Open Apiary

So a few weeks ago Jez and I went to visit the Barrowby Scout Group at the Scout hut in Barrowby and gave them a talk on bees and bee keeping. We took a few bits along and a hive for the children to look at and they all engaged really well and asked lots of questions without too much prompting.

The group were between 10 and 14 years old and after meeting the group and giving them the talk we then arranged with the Scout leaders an open apiary so that the children could see the bees first hand and get the experiences of sight, smell and sound or the bees first hand.

the scouts all kitted out and ready to visit the hives
the scouts all kitted out and
ready to visit the hives

busy bees on a warm evening.
The bees were busy and calm
on the warm evening.

blue marked queen spooted by the scouts
The queen in the hive was marked
blue and was spotted quickly by
the scouts.






















It was a great evening and all the scouts were very mature around the hives. You don't know until you are faced with a full colony of bees whether or not you are going to be okay with it but all the scouts did remarkably well and I commend them and their Scout leaders on there behavior and maturity.

As a District this was a great opportunity for us to share some of our knowledge and let people know who we are and all about our group. If you have a group you would like us to visit and talk to then please don't hesitate to get in contact.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Bee Book For Beginners By Frank Randall (Book Review)



This is a nice book for someone interested in looking further into beekeeping before they embark on the actual task. Plenty of info in it without being too overwhelming when you just want to look into things or are just starting out.

A note from the author;

Hello!

Thank you for taking the time to look at my book.

If you have a taste for honey or an adventurous side, maybe you have thought of becoming a beekeeper. What would you really be in for, though? Is it really a job or is it a fun way to get your own honey? Well, it's really both.

Being a beekeeper is a lot of work, but it also has a lot of benefits. Anyone can do it, as long as they are prepared. You can't just wake up one day, decide to be a beekeeper and start immediately. You have to know what you are doing.

That's why I have written this book. Within its pages, you'll discover the tools you need to be a beekeeper, what to expect from your hive, how to harvest your honey, and how to protect the hive from various problems and invaders. I'll teach you what types of bees are best to keep, the jobs of each bee in the hive, how to choose and position your hives, and more
.
When I started keeping bees, I spent a lot of time and money on a lot of books before I was sure that apiculture was going to be a part of my life.

This easy to read beginner's book summarizes the essential information I have learned over the years and is written to help you decide if beekeeping will fit into your life.

Best wishes, 
Frank

Available from amazon for either an e-reader or to buy in paperback.

Paperback £4.98
Downloadable £2.99
Kindle Unlimited Subscribers FREE

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Treason in The Ranks!!!

Finn Hogan's newsletter to GBS, reproduced with his permission . I feel for them, murderous cack handed pair though they are . . .  


There’s no easy way to break this news. Like a Shakespearian tragedy: TREASON.

Everything has been working so well since last we spoke, Hive 2 and our old queen have been busy building their new life in pastures new. We had taken away their food supplements to spur them on a bit because if you feed them they become lazy teenagers, mooching about the house, raiding the fridge, wearing bee onesies and running up the phone bill. So now they have to go out, get a job, stop treating the place like a hotel, my house my rules that kind of thing and it appears to be working well. The queen is laying again, the hive is busy and looking promising.

Hive 1 was always going to be the money maker, if you go out and have a look Hive 2 looks like a retirement community, the (relative) size of a bungalow in Somerset, Hive 1 is like Canary wharf. We have 2 brood boxes for staff and a super box for honey production in the penthouse. We had moved the old queen out of here when we saw that they were creating a new queen and might swarm and it has to be said, it looked like we had done the wrong thing for a while.

There had be no sign of egg laying when we thought a new queen should be ready to lay. For a week we had a fear that we had done the wrong thing but then… 2 weeks ago… Success! Obvious signs of egg laying, new larvae in the top brood box and even capped brood. This was a strong queen. Things were indeed looking up.

During the inspection eagle-eyed Butler spotted our new queen. This in itself is a bit of a coup as you can inspect a hive of this size over and over and not spot the queen. We weren’t prepared for this exciting turn of events so Mick had to run back to the equipment bench to grab the queen press and the marker (a sight to behold, a man running in full bee keeping regalia).

The Crown Of  Thorns, fit for any queen.
The Crown Of  Thorns, fit for any queen.
The queen press is a nasty looking medieval torture type bit of kit, we are never thrilled about using it, too many spiky death bits for my liking, but you have to work with what you’ve got and if you’re careful all should be well.

The way it works is straight forward enough, spot the queen, isolate as best you can and then push the press down over her so that the cage traps her against the comb. That way she is secured enough to mark her back so that every other inspection will be a walk in the park. That’s if all goes to plan. It didn’t. It didn’t at all.

Queen secure under the crown of thorns and marked blue for a '5' year.
Queen secure under the crown of
thorns and marked blue for a '5' year.
Here is our queen. Looking at it you wouldn’t think there was a problem, she’s secure looking, not too much pressure on her body, that is essential to her keeping her ability to lay. Don’t squish the abdomen.

You don’t know it yet but this is a truly macabre picture, a murder scene, CSI stuff. We were dancing a keepers jig, letting the paint on her back dry off. Queen found, a new dawn for Hive 1.

I took the press off her, she rolled over like a Greek ferry. Legs in the air, twitching, we stopped jigging. She stopped twitching.

I won’t quote what expletives came out of our mouths at that point, we had done quite possibly the worst thing we could have. Murdered her Majesty. TREASON! I can only think that looking at the picture here, that the frame squished her head, not something either of us had bargained for, or indeed noticed at the time. Look at the picture, yeah ok, she looks a little uncomfortable but not in any life threatening danger!

The thing is, she was still moving. It’s not too late we thought, I pushed her upright, her ladies in waiting gathered around her, wailing and moaning at the sight that was in front of them. We didn’t know what to do. So what did we do? We slid the frame back in the hive, put the whole thing back together and tip-toed away.

All that is left to say is, please don’t come for me with flaming torches and pitch forks, the bees are a resilient bunch and we still have options. They will produce another queen in time as they can use one of the fresh eggs that has already been laid to manufacture a new one OR and more excitingly we could buy a new queen from the internet, this is an option if only to see how she arrives in the post! Until then, the flags are flying at half-mast over Hive 1 and my trial starts when they have gathered all the evidence.

PS  I have had trouble sleeping as the below image has been indelibly burned on my memory. Look at the workers all worriedly gathered around her. Awful.

Worried workers rally round there queen.
Worried workers rally round there queen.

Finn (Murdering) Hoggan
Warehouse Team Leader and queen killer 



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Bee Keepers Taster Afternoon

Lincolnshire beekeepers’ Association
Registered Charity No 500360



Are you interested in 

beekeeping?

Not sure what’s involved?

Why not come to LBKA’s

Taster

Afternoon

Saturday 8th August 2015

2.00 pm at

EH Thorne (Beehives) Ltd

Rand, Wragby, LN8 5NJ

Fee: £15 per person

Children under 18 free if accompanying an adult.
Come and meet some beekeepers and their bees
Bee suits or bee jackets and disposable gloves will be provided, but please wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirt and, if possible, boots. (The bees won’t be happy if they get stuck going up your trousers – and neither will you!)
We will tell you something about what is involved in beekeeping, answer your questions, show you some of the equipment and, weather permitting, look into some hives of bees.
If you decide beekeeping is for you we can guide you on where and how to learn more.
Contact: Catherine Sheen 01400 281481
Email: catherinesheen@hotmail.com
Numbers are limited and payment in advance is necessary to confirm your booking

Lincolnshire beekeepers’ Association
Registered Charity No 500360




Taster Afternoon
Saturday 8th August 2015
2.00 pm at THORNES
Rand, near Wragby, LN8 5NJ
Bee suits or bee jackets and disposable gloves will be provided, but please wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirt and, if possible, boots. (The bees won’t be happy if they get stuck going up your trousers – and neither will you!)
We will tell you something about what is involved in beekeeping, answer your questions, show you some of the equipment and, weather permitting, look into some hives of bees.
If you decide beekeeping is for you we can guide you on where and how to learn more.
Contact: Catherine Sheen 01400 281481
Email: catherinesheen@hotmail.com
Fee: £15 per person
Children under 18 free but must be accompanied by a fee paying adult. Cheques payable to ‘LBKA’
Numbers are limited and payment in advance is necessary to confirm your booking
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lincolnshire Beekeepers’ Association
Taster Afternoon
Thornes, Rand 8th August 2015
Name .........................................................................................................................................................
Address  ....................................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................................
...................................................................................................................................................................
Telephone: ............................................................................................... Age if under 18: ....................
Email: ........................................................................................................................................................
PLEASE NOTE
Although generally very docile, honey bees can sting. We will try to avoid this happening and will provide you with protective clothing and gloves when near the hives, however we cannot be held responsible if you are stung. A very small minority of people can react adversely to stings. In case this should happen would you please provide details of someone we could contact on your behalf.

Contact name.......................................................... Telephone.................................................................
In addition to the 'Taster Afternoon' Thornes have a lovely coffee shop you can visit and a wonderful 'Bee Museum' where you can read about how Thornes started out and see some of the older equipment that has been used in years gone by. You can also read about Leslie Thorne and get to know a bit about the man who is, in essence responsible for the 'Leslie Thorne Award' and if you visit the lobby whilst there you can see the miniature beehive with the plaques of names, dates and districts of previous winners of this award including our very own Annabel McCabe!!

Annabel receiving her award with the
miniature bee hive in the background.