Having just found some queen cells in one of my colonies it reminded me of another acronym to add to last week's - CQC for a charged queen cell.

Anyway, on to this evening's reminder.

With the significant change in the weather last week after the blistering heat of Easter, no doubt many of our bees are snuggling down and consuming the stores they collected over the weekend!

If you have out apiaries with more than one colony in each, as well as  everything else you need to take, don’t forget a bucket with lid - maybe an old honey bucket - containing washing soda, hot water and a drop of washing up liquid for you to wash your hands/gloves and hive tool between colonies.  A ‘green scrubber’ is also a helpful addition. 

Washing soda, by the way, helps to dissolve propolis making the cleaning of equipment/hands much easier.  Ideal in the washing machine too to clean your bee jacket or suit - minus veil of course!

Hopefully you don’t have any transferrable bee disease, but if you do, you are protecting yourself from spreading it between your colonies.  Beekeepers are known to be the main way that disease is transferred.  I know I keep referring to our Multipack, but it does contain photos of the various diseases your bees could have and is an ideal, laminated reference book to have with you.  The National Bee Unit also has links to each of the different diseases/predators and detailed information on them. 

Have a stock of disposable shower caps to cover the bellows of your smoker and ensure you change this between apiaries.   A bag for rubbish is essential so you don’t leave anything lying around in your apiary, particularly if you use drone culling as part of your treatment for varroa. Cleanliness of equipment and in your apiary at all times is an essential contributor to maintaining the health of your colonies. 

A container of clean water to wash your hands after inspections is a welcome refresher for you and essential before covering the door handles, inside and out, and steering wheel of your vehicle with honey!!  Wet wipes are handy too.

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