Monday 29 April 2013

Finally an end(if only for 2 years) on neonicotinoids

Common sense seems to have finally made a difference, with Germany leading the way a temporary ban while more field tests are carried out has been agreed by the EU on the use of neonicotinoids, good news for all bee keepers.

Typically the UK voted against partially blaming varroa for the bee decline.

Not a bad bit on the BBC, lots on the biobee forum.


Sunday 21 April 2013

Lets attract some bee's

It's that time of year when we need to get ready for the swarming period. The bee's are flying, well at least mine are, and producing brood after a very quick look during the last calm sunny day.
That much activity I had to open the second entrance.

Box with lid and frame on bank
where bee's fly down the  garden

This means the scout bee's will be hunting up potential new homes for when the colony decides it's time to go forth and multiply. So what do you need to do. The answer is simple get those bait boxes out. What I hear you ask are bait boxes. Well for those who have just built their hives at the 'big hive build' they will do lovely, in fact each one could be three bait hives if you make more follower boards. For myself I use square flower pots from wilkos, sounds low tech but last year I attracted 3 swarms into my bait hives. 

A little more detail then:- 

1 - A suitable size container, needs to be about 6-9 top bars.
2 - Some old honeycomb if you have any(attached to a top bar).
3 - One or two drops of lemongrass oil(not the aromatherapy stuff).
4 - Lots of patience.
Another on top of the boys play shed destined to bee
'shed bee's ' if any are attracted.

Get your boxes all ready and then put them out, if possible in an area where you see bee's flying on a regular basis and then wait. Every couple of weeks top up the lemongrass.

One word of advice if you do attract a swarm and are going to house it in a full size hive, do it as soon as you can as they will only allow you to do so for a couple of days at most. After that if they decide to stay you will only be able to follow the 3 foot 3 mile rule.

Friday 19 April 2013

More photos of the first Big Build Part 1.

The day begins with laying out tools and materials, de-nailing the scrap wood, cutting to size, building templates and general tea consumption:

With time moving on the old ones burn the midday oil, supervised by the next generation, as its all hands to the pumps:

But some still find time for a brew!!

Mid afternoon and final assembly of the modules is zipping along, almost like an industrial assembly line. Note that four of the six 4' Chandler hives are fitted with perspex 'windows'.

And by the close of the day we had 6 hives, and Pete's 10 bar special, completed - a very productive and enjoyable day and many thanks to Alison and family for putting up with us.

And look who got the halo!!

Roofs are being built tomorrow (Saturday 20th at Alison's again), all welcome.


Monday 15 April 2013

Hive Building - Part 2

As we briefly discussed at the end of the day last week, those that would like help completing a roof for their new hive are welcome at mine this Saturday (20th) at 11am. Please bring anything with you that you think may be useful - materials, tools or ideas on design! If you can't make it, but still need a roof making, please let me know asap. See you then. Alison

Saturday 6 April 2013

Beeautiful Day!

Mother Nature must have been in support of our efforts to increase the local bee population by providing us with the first day of spring that actually felt like spring rather than the arctic tundra! A fantastic day, thanks to everyone for making it so enjoyable & great success of 6 hives nearly complete - here's to stage 2 & the roof build in a couple of weeks! Alison

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Hive Building & Meeting info

Hi all Meeting: As those of us that made it tonight discovered, after many months of uncertainty the Shakespeare has now closed! We reconvened in the Malt Shovel & although cosy, is not v practical for a gathering of above 3, so from next month, our 1st Wednesday in the month meeting will be held at the Harrington Arms, Thulston. Plenty of space, parking, real ale & hospitable landlords. Hive Building: Hive building will be this Saturday (6th April) from 11am at mine - think we have pretty much sorted tools, wood etc, everyone welcome, I will have the kettle going, & bearing in mind the temperature, will probably put a big pan of soup on as well, but please bring sandwiches etc. Anyone need address, directions etc, please email/ring/text me or anyone else in the group you have a contact for (I've been advised not to post address on a public blog thats all!) Look forward to seeing everyone then. Alison

Arabic bees

Saw the first bees at my small feeder this morning. The weather is so warm here that the small trickle of syrup, that leaks out from under an up-turned tomato puree tin, dries almost instantly; but obviously they don't mind. I'll keep an eye on it over the next few days to see if the numbers build and hopefully get some pictures. Next I'll have to make tentative enquiries about actually keeping bees and possibly building a hive.

Also, I have been offered a two bed roomed house (villa) on the outskirts of the city which may also make beekeeping a more practical proposition.

Watch this space!

Doha, Qatar

PS Good Luck for the hive building day!