Sunday, 11 October 2015

Bee Drenching.

On Sunday 4th October whilst doing a hive inspection we gave the bees a good drenching. I have been putting ‘Hive Alive’ in the syrup which I have been feeding them to give them a boost and ‘drenching’ is a method suggested on the packaging.
To ‘drench’ the bees you make a 1:1 sugar syrup and add 1ml of ‘Hive Alive’ to every 100ml of syrup. You then put this in a spray bottle and use this to spray the frames within the hive. It is an easy process as you spray the bees too so it is quick to apply. Simply take a frame out of the hive, spray both sides and replace. Continue systematically through the hive thoroughly spraying each frame including wax, brood, eggs and bees.
Hive alive;
• Only product proven to make your colonies 89% stronger and
   more productive*
• Promotes intestinal well-being
• Quickest and easiest to use
• Prevents syrup from fermenting
• Additional uses and benefits

In the hive we go!!

Drenching the bees was easy but sticky work.
Each frame was removed and both sides sprayed
with the syrup solution.

deformed wing virus and varoa mite.

Here you can see the droplets of sugar syrup on the bees as well as healthy bees and eggs. I also noticed the bee with the deform wing virus and the varroa mite. Drenching can help with both of these problems.

Healthy brood pattern.

Healthy brood pattern with honey stores surrounding. The bees were nice and calm throughout the drenching and we saw the queen who hatched and mated in 2015 and is marked blue.

To find out more about 'HiveAlive' and it's benefits to bees go here. I did!!

By Annabel McCabe.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Autumn Lecture

Lincolnshire Beekeepers’ Association
Registered Charity number 500360

Autumn Lecture:
Energy in Creation, Honey bees and Humans
The evolution of honeybees and humans from the origin of the universe to the present day - how much human society will have to change if it is to become sustainable. Honeybees regulate every aspect of their society for the general good whilst we waste our knowledge and our resources, contaminating even the environment upon which we depend. And yet, it is still not too late to change our ways if we can learn the lessons that are all around us.

Professor Robert Pickard
Professor Pickard is an international authority on the biology of honeybees.  He is Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology at the university of Cardiff and Visiting Professor at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester as well as a Fellow of the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Medicine, President of Cardiff BKA and the UK Central Association of Beekeepers.
William Farr School
Lincoln Road Welton

7:30pm Wednesday 21st October 2015
Admission free to LBKA Members
£3 non-members
refreshments & raffle
Northern Bee Books.

Pay on the door or in advance
For further details or to book a place please contact

Catherine Sheen, Secretary, Education Committee, LBKA

Friday, 2 October 2015

Autumn Inspections.

Autumn inspections are still important to carry out even though there should now be no risk of your bees swarming.
These inspections should cover all the same points as your summer inspections with of course the exception of trying to locate swarm cells so can be carried out quicker as the weather cools down.

If you have any weak colonies then now is the time to think about how you can strengthen them for the coming winter months. Always check for diseases first and check for the amount of varroa infestation before you think about how best to go about strengthening such colonies.

Annabel inspecting her bees.
 If you have quite a weak stock of bees that are healthy then you can consider uniting them with a stronger colony for the winter which will inevitably give them all a better chance of survival. If the colony is queenless then you can combine easily by placing the two brood boxes together with newspaper between so that by the time the bees have eaten through the paper they will accept each other and untie as one large colony.

If both hive have queens then you need to decide which is the most productive queen and locate the one you don't want any remove and kill her before combining the two hives as above. Although this may seem drastic and doesn't 'have' to be done, you can't guarantee that if you leave both queens in the hive to fight it out that the stronger one will be the survivor so you will be no better off the following spring.

Reasons for 're-queening'may be; Bad strain/aggressive bees.
                                                      Drone laying queen.
                                                      Queen not laying well, (bad brood pattern etc.)
                                                      Queen not laying at all.

Newly marked 2015 queen.
Once you have gone through these processes then if you can locate your queen it's a good idea to record her condition and if possible mark her. Marking her will make her more visible for future inspections and easier to locate when the hive has a lot of bees again next summer.

Your queen should still be laying although this will be at a reduced rate now the weather is cooler and you shouldn't see any 'drone' brood in the hive.

If you have any questions about combining hives or re-queening and how to go about it then don't hesitate to get in touch and we will help out any way we can.