Yesterday the weather was sunny and warm, the mid 60s, so I took a trip to a wood where I have a hive that I don’t visit often enough. I hived a swarm there earlier this year and, because the comb in the empty hive was not the best, did a Bailey comb change, which worked, but the original brood box is now sat atop a couple of supers. I saw that, besides flying strongly from the hive entrance, there were also bees using an informal entrance, a finger sized hole in the rear of the top box. I wonder how that got there!
I would have expected, at this time of year, the bees to be concentrating their stores around the brood nest, but these evidently haven’t read the books as there were fresh, unsealed, stores at the top of the hive. All the boxes had some honey but none had a lot. I think that there will be enough to get them through the winter if they pack it properly; if not, Darwin will prevent them making that mistake again! I did interfere with Darwin to some extent by placing a tea bag of thymol crystals immediately above the brood area. There’s only a couple of frames of brood and they show signs of Varroa infestation and a couple of cells had sac brood, about which you can’t do much.
On the way back from the hive, I gathered pockets full of chestnuts. They’ll do for callers on Halloween.
In the evening it was the Dorchester & Weymouth BKA AGM. There was only a score or so of us there, despite the free beer and sausages and chips. Besides being dark, the weather was starting to dampen. Once again I’m President!
After the formalities I had a chat with Liz Rescorla who runs our teaching apiary. I was surprised to bump into her at the BIBBA do a while ago, both attending the talk on setting up a local breeding group. We’re going, gently, to dip our toes in the water to see whether there’s any interest in trying to set up a group in our area. Today, it has been raining almost continuously so I was able to make use of the enforced confinement to get on with my preparations and packing for the National Honey Show, which I hope to attend for all three days, staying with my son and his family who have just moved to within 5 miles of the NHS site.
I had expected to be out and so left outside half a dozen jars of honey that had been ordered. Because of the weather I was in when the customer called. He came in and chatted and bought another 6 jars! That means I shall be able to pay for entry to the Show and renew various subscriptions without having to go to the bank first. He also is contemplating buying a copy of my (co-authored) book, Getting the Best from Your Bees, and I showed him my copy to flick through.
What useful weather!