We, the Devon Apicultural Research Group, met at a different venue this time: Willand Village Hall near Cullompton in East Devon. We started arriving at noon and nattered and ate our sandwiches (+ honey cake!) until 1pm when Glyn Davies opened the proceedings.
Our revised edition of A Case of Hives is in its final stages and should be on Northern Bee Books’ stall at the National Honey Show.
The first presentation of the afternoon was by Tricia Nelson on thermoregulation by honey bees. Her talk was based on a chapter of Tom Seeley’s new book, which she recommends, The Lives of Bees, the untold story of the honeybees of the world. The honeybee is the only tropical insect to extend its range into cold/temperate regions (what about the Asian hornet?).
There were diagrams on the screen of the temperatures inside beehives with and without top ventilation. The advice is not to have top ventilation. There may be more condensation but the bees can make use of the water which, otherwise, they’d have to go and fetch.
The next talk was by Kathy about a project she’s involved with near Plymouth with a few hives in an apiary being fitted with solar powered heaters which raise the temperature within the hive to about 45 degrees C for a few hours to kill off the Varroa mites. Somehow I don’t think the idea will catch on.
Our next meeting is on 14th July at East Devon BKA’s apiary near Axminster where we will be playing with their drone congregation area. If you’re within range, come and play with us!