Firstly, may I wish you all a very happy 2022. I hope all of you are excited and eager for the beekeeping season to get underway and to be able to check inside your hives once again.
Already this year we’ve seen some extremes in temperature; one minute it is double digits and the next it is -3! I’ve seen both my own bees flying and the bees here at Mantel Farm. However, I have seen a lot of activity around one of my hives and I do believe that this hive may have died out (small nuc from last year) and the activity may be the result of opportunistic bees taking their stores. I will most likely investigate over the weekend if the weather is sensible. Roger has found that some of his hives in late December were light on stores due to their flying activity and a couple of his have died due to starvation. You may have seen your bees returning with pollen but there isn’t a lot of nectar being given up by these sources so they are depleting their winter stores quite rapidly.
It has come to our attention through some reports from local beekeeping associations that some beekeepers are experiencing high numbers of colony losses. It may possibly be that hives are dying of starvation, but the images that have been shared by some local keepers suggest that they had plenty of stores and have died due to disease caused by varroa or they have absconded. Some have suggested that oxalic acid vaping may be worth trying now to help avoid this. Mike Cullen has recently done a video on the subject and demonstrates a method he likes to use.
Finally, I should reiterate how important it is to keep an eye on your hives on warmer days to see how they are behaving. Roger and I will be doing a video on this next week as he will be popping by to check entrances are clear and there isn’t debris restricting access on our hives. This is an issue with mouse guards and some entrance blocks as the bees do try to take out dead bees and debris but it can be too much for them to get it through the entrance if it is occluded. If the bees are not able to clear away the dead bees, this can not only block the hive entrance but it could even restrict ventilation from the open mesh floor.
I hope all of your colonies are well and get through the last of the cooler weather.
Watch Master Beekeeper Mike Cullen discussing this method of treating for Varroa...
Josh joins Mike for his final oxalic acid vaping treatment of his own hives using a fogger. This isn't a formally recognised method but Mike tells us about how he has come to find this method and why he favours it over the other methods he has tried and tested.
Join Oliver St.John for a great day covering the key topics of beekeeping, giving a chance to meet up with beekeepers at a similar stage to yourself, ask any questions you have and share experiences you have had so far.
This course is aimed at beekeepers in their first or second season and also provides a good understanding for those wanting to take the BBKA Basic Assessment.
Including a years free membership to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust...
Keen to find out how to help the other pollinators in your garden or ensure you are beekeeping in a sustainable way?
Join Nikki Gammons from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to learn how to identify our most common bumblebee species that you will find in your garden. With a mix of theory and practical tips for identification, we will have a look at finding and identifying the bees around our farm
These heat logs are made in the UK, 100% natural, recycled cedar wood and red wood sawdust and shavings.
Compared to logs wood briquettes burn hotter for longer (making them more economical) they are much cleaner to handle and produce less spitting when lit. They also produce lower tar residues. With no glue or additives, 100% renewable energy from compressed cedar wood and redwood sawdust and shavings...
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