This summer seems to have just flown by, and although I really dont want to admit it is September, the chilly mornings and evenings drawing in are a real reminder. One good thing about the temperatures dropping is the end to the red-mite season. This year has seen a particularly bad increase in these mites, many customers have reported an infestation and although the drop in temperature will help to slow them down, we are not out of their main season yet! We are therefore continuing our offer on our Poulty Shield Spray and Diatom Powder - our 2 top products for preventing and beating these mites.
Apple Day Sunday 13th Ocober
The change in season also brings a harvest of produce from the garden, and this year we are excited to announce our new 'apple day'. So often the apples from our own garden go to waste; we find we only get to use some, those with slight imperfections (or wasp bites) just dont store and there is a limit to how many you can eat directly from the tree! so when we met Sassie of Eve Apples mobile press and tasted her fantastic apple juice we knew we must have her along to the farm, and the resulting plan is an apple day on Sunday 14th October - when we will be here pressing, juicing, bottling and pasteurising to turn your apples to juice. Just come along on the day with your apples, watch the process and take home your own fantastic juice.
In our Apiary:
Our bees have had a mixed summer, they got off to a really early start, but the mixed weather seems to have slowed them down. However they seem in good health and have plenty of honey stores to feed them through the winter, providing the wasps (and other bees) do not rob them of their gold - Last weekend the apiary was alive with angry bees, the cause we believe to be another hungry colony of bees trying to steal their food! The hive entrances had already been closed to a small space to make it easier for them to guard, so we couldn't do anything other than hope for the best. An inspection a few days later showed all was well, with plenty of bees and honey still present; a relief as robbing can easily kill a weak colony at this time of year. There have also been a lot of wasps this year and they too like to steal honey, so we have wasp traps around the apiary (the bees are not attracted to the sweet jam as wasps are, making the traps safe for the bees).
Our 2 recommended products for Red Mite prevention and treatment. Spray and powder the chicken house regularly, concentrating on the ends of the perching rails and you should keep these nasty mites away.
Are you thinking of beekeeping next year? if so our winter beekeeping courses are the perfect way to start. Over the weekend you will find out just what is involved so you can then spend long winter evenings researching, deciding and possibly building the type of hive you will use.
The main jobs for September are giving the colonies a thorough check of each frame for health and disease, whether queenright, assessing the stores they have and topping up with strongest sugar syrup you can make, as soon as possible....
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