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!


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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3 Responses to USEFUL WEATHER

  1. joan says:

    Always a delight to read your blog. Can you tell me would you put oxalic acid on that hive at some time? I had a very small swarm come to me in July and I have noticed deformed wing virus ;the young bees were being thrown out of the hive,the weather being so warm I have put Apivar life I think its called in and touch wood there are no more evictions .But the hive is still very small what can I do to help them? I would like to cheat Darwin if I can as these bees are positively friendly! My first .

  2. Joan, If they have brood there’s not a lot of point in adding oxalic as it doesn’t harm the mites under cappings and the effect will be gone by the time they emerge. As the weather’s still warm, above 57 degrees, thymol or Apiguard would be better, doing an oxalic dribble in mid December.

  3. joan says:

    Will do thank you

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