Category Archives: Information

The ‘no lifting’ artificial swarm method

Any colonies with more than about six frames of brood will need inspecting weekly. At the first sign of occupied queen cups/cells, the colony should be divided using an artificial swarm method. Most descriptions of the artificial swarm method start with ‘When occupied queen cells are found, move the colony about a metre away’. If […]

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When all but the outside frames of a box are covered with bees, add another box

When all but the outside frames of a box are covered with bees, add another box. This is normally a super (above a queen excluder). However, you may wish to add another brood chamber or brood super if your queen is very prolific. In this case you will not need the queen excluder until you […]

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Colony inspection

If the temperature rises above about 15 degrees Celsius, carry out a detailed inspection and record your findings. You can carry out an inspection of your hives any day it is warm and calm. A temperature of 14 to 16 degrees is ideal. The aim is to ascertain whether there is a queen who is […]

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Take a five minute look inside the hive to do a little Spring cleaning

Only if it is warm enough (over 12 degrees Celsius) in the middle of the day, you can take a five minute look inside the hive to do a little Spring cleaning. Any longer and there is a chance that the uncapped brood will chill. If you find any frames with mould, holes, broken lugs […]

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Carry out a very quick inspection of your bees in the middle of a warm day

If it is too cold to inspect the bees then just watch them flying and if they are bringing in pollen, everything should be fine as long as they have enough stores. The temperature should be at least 13-14 degrees centigrade (C) for a quick look at the bees (lasting a few minutes only if […]

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Remove mouse guards from the entrance of the hive

Some beekeepers use a solid floorboard in the winter so that cold winds do not blow up into the colony from underneath. If this is the case, then there will probably be a lot of debris covering it, so without disturbing the bees (and two of you doing this), one lifts up the brood chamber […]

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Feeding syrup as an emergency spring feed

Feeding syrup as an emergency spring feed. Use thin or thick syrup or candy/fondant at appropriate times, to mimic the food that the bees would naturally be using at that time. For example, a thin syrup (800g sugar to 1Litre water) in the spring and summer to mimic nectar; thick syrup (1.6kg sugar to 1L […]

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Continue to monitor Varroa levels

By Pauline Aslin The warm start to the winter this year has meant that in many parts of the UK colonies still had brood on more than one frame right through December. This in turn means that the Varroa mite has been able to continue breeding. If you have mesh floors, do check the trays […]

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Feed fondant if it is still cold.

Use thin or thick syrup or candy/fondant at appropriate times, to mimic the food that the bees would naturally be using at that time. For example, a thin syrup (800g sugar to 1Litre water) in the spring and summer to mimic nectar; thick syrup (1.6kg sugar to 1L water) in the late summer/early autumn to […]

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Prepare for spring 2016

March 5 – BeeTradEx, Stoneleigh www.beetradex.co.uk April 2 – Welsh Beekeepers Association Spring Convention http://www.wbka.com/news-events/convention-2016/ April 8-9 – British Beekeepers Association Spring Convention trade show. http://www.bbka.org.uk/news_and_events/spring_convention.php

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