Amanda's Beekeeping Notes

Amanda is a professional ecologist who has been keeping up to 25 colonies of bees for about fifteen years.  During that time she has attained the British Beekeepers Association modules 1 to 7 with credits and distinctions.  On the practical side she has the Basic Assessment and the General Husbandry Certificate making her a 'Qualified Beekeeper'.  She has also won prizes at the Natioanl Honey Show for her honey and other products.

Amanda has had articles published in beekeeping magazines and has a regular column in her local divisions newsletter, she has been running beekeeping course, workshops and talks at various levels from introduction, beginner to advanced, including Queen Rearing, History of Beekeeing, Bee Health and Diseases and Other Pollinators; subjects she is particularly interested in.

Amanda was on the Brighton and Lewis Division Committee or 10 years, 6 of which as Secretary before becoming the Chairman of the Sussex Beekeepers Association (SBKA) Executive Committee in 2013 for three years and is now the President of the SBKA.

We are fortunate to have Amanda working with us at Mantel Farm, providing regular training courses along with these monthly Beekeeping notes:

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Amanda's Beekeeping Notes July 2022

As I write this, on 24th June the Blackberry is in full bloom and the weather is warm and there is a lovely smell of nectar coming from the hives.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes June 2022

After such a promising and hopeful start in April, May has turned out to be something of a disaster in my apiary.  On 28th April I had the first signs of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV) in my largest, best colony...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes May 2022

I think this April has been slightly warmer than April 2021, but there were still only a few days warm enough and with wind low enough to carry out relatively regular inspections...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes April 2022

Here we are at last in what seems to me to be the busiest month in the bee season. The colonies are expanding exponentially...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes March 2022

I hope all your colonies survived the recent storms and that no branches fell on them. Also I hope none blew over...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes February 2022

I watched a National Honey Show video recently, Reading the Hive, by Kirsten Traynor of 2 million blossoms...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes January 2022

Its time to assess the quality of your colonies based on the notes you have taken throughout the year...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes December 2021

Bees’ behaviour is fascinating, even after nearly 20 years with them, they frequently cause me to wonder...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes November 2021

It is important to check entrances regularly, one of my colonies is still throwing out drones...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes October 2021

October 2021. I have now frozen all my honey supers for a few days to kill all wax moth stages...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes September 2021

September 2021. So much for the honey harvest. Mine was half what I harvested the previous year...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes August 2021

August 2021. As I write this the heatwave in July broke last night into thunderstorms.....

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes July 2021

July 2021. The weather in the early part of June was ideal for queen mating.  My puzzle cluster now has brood....

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes June 2021

June 2021. After a cold dry April, May did not seem to be much better for the bees, just warmer and wet instead....

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes May 2021

May 2021. What a strange April. Nice sunny days, but generally cold with a chill wind and frost nearly every night...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes April 2021

April 2021. There are lots of flowers out now and it has been warm enough for the bees to be quite active and bring in plenty of pollen and nectar...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes March 2021

March 2021. I can hardly wait until the weather is good enough to see how the rest of my colonies are. I managed to check 5 of mine yesterday...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes February 2021

February 2021. As I write this, the sun is shining after Storm Christoph with frost still in the shade, but the colonies in full sun...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes December 2020

December 2020. I have an inkling of how the bees might be feeling at the moment with the recent wet and windy, but mild, weather...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes November 2020

November 2020. After the wet and windy weather in the last few weeks it was a pleasure to see my bees busy...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes October 2020

October 2020. I have seen a few European hornets around, cruising up and down my flowerbeds looking for unwary insects..

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes September 2020

September 2020. So, the end of another bee year and the start of the new. How was 2020 for you?

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes August 2020

August 2020. I was disappointed to see my nectar flow had practically stopped by 20th July 

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes July 2020

July 2020. How different this year is to this time last year when I had been suffering with rainy weather..

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes June 2020

June 2020. As I write this we are having another little heatwave. The forecast, dare I say it, looks promising..

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes May 2020

May 2020. After another fine week in the latter half of April all the bees have been very busy...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes April 2020

April 2020. It is very difficult to know what will happen in April this year, but it seems to be a later start than last year

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes March 2020

March 2020. March will be the start of bee activities this year, with what could be the most important and eagerly awaited first inspection

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes February 2020

February 2020. Firstly, I hope none of your bees suffered or drowned in Storm Brendan and the heavy rain

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes January 2020

January 2020. In this quiet time it is an opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes December 2019

December 2019. There is not much we can do this month apart from checking they have not been blown over...

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes November 2019

November 2019. In spite of the rain we have had it has been fairly mild and the bees very active between showers

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes October 2019

October 2019. I hope everyone has completed their bee jobs for this time of year, including treatment and feeding 

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes September 2019

September 2019. Main jobs for the month, feeding, hoverflies and mass bee deaths in Brazil.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes August 2019

August 2019. Honey crop, winter bees, feeding, mite control, things to do and latest research.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes July 2019

July 2019. Unsettled weather, spread of viruses, honey stores . Latest research. 

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes June 2019

June 2019. This month yellow faces from oil seed rape & brick red pollen from the horse chestnuts. Latest research. 

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes May 2019

May 2019. This month cleaning, checking for Varroa and keeping an eye open for swarm preparations

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes April 2019

April 2019. This month cleaning, checking for Varroa and keeping an eye open for swarm preparations

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes March 2019

March 2019. This month  An early warm spell allows for an early inspection.  Dealing with DWV and hygienic testing.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes February 2019

February 2019. This month  Apart from the usual things like making sure the entrance is clear of dead bees hefting for stores is very important. 

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes January 2019

January 2019. This month Amanda details her recent Oxalic Acid Vapourisation. Threat to National Parks.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes December 2018

December 2018. This month Amanda's notes include: Armchair planning, frames to clean and winter checks.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes November 2018

November 2018. This month Amanda's notes include: Tucking the bees in for winter and planting for Bees

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes October 2018

October 2018. This month Amanda's notes include: Tucking the bees in for winter and planting for Bees

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes September 2018

September 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: treating varroa, feeding bees and spring bulbs

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes August 2018

August 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: helping a broodless colony and the summer forage

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes July 2018

July 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: queen rearing, swarms, bee hygiene and jobs for July

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes June 2018

June 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: wax moth, swarming season, bee forage and world bee day

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes May 2018

May 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: spring preparations and solitary bee sightings

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes April 2018

April 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: Investigating spring colony loss & neonics threat.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes March 2018

March 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: Early inspections and preparing for a cold spell.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes February 2018

February 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: Preparing for the new year and worrying UK sales of Apivar.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes January 2018

January 2018.  This month Amanda's notes include: Bee clusters in winter and an update on neonics.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes December 2017

December 2017.  This month Amanda's notes include: Winter treatments, Apishield floor and Wasps.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes November 2017

November 2017.  This month Amanda's notes include: Checking for mites, Mouse guards on, & declining insects.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes October 2017

October 2017.  This month Amanda's notes include: Mite drops, Greater Wax Moth & Feeding.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes September 2017

September 2017.  This month Amanda's notes include: Robbing, Apiguard and Dusting.

Amanda's Beekeeping Notes August 2017

August 2017.  This month Amanda's notes include: Removing the last supers & re-queening.


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