We had our second meeting this evening, once again in the conference room of a solicitor’s office in Dorchester, with the same people as last time, John and James Chittenden, Liz Rescorla, Bryn House and me. I don’t know what happened to Sarah who had intended to come and to whom I had given directions.
Liz showed us the summary sheets she has created to compare and evaluate her queens. She, as I recall, is selecting for temper, non-following and quietness on the comb. I discussed the latter with her as I like ‘runny’ bees as it is much easier to clear a super or shake a swarm with them, but Liz, running a teaching apiary, likes them to be still when she is examining a comb.
I circulated a map on which I had blobbed my apiary sites in red and invited the others to mark their sites differently. This was in order to locate any areas where our drone flight ranges are likely to overlap. We aren’t very close but the Bride valley is a possibility as my sites at Berwick and Litton might be within reach of Bryn and Mandy at Little Bredy and Liz at Martinstown.
Liz had brought along several different polystyrene mating nucs. I don’t need any more but she will ‘bulk buy’ 8 at the forthcoming Tradex at Stoneleigh hoping to get a good price: 4 for her and 2 each for John and Bryn.
Bryn will provide and install posts and platforms for the mating nuclei. He also has a range of paints so he will be able to make them distinguishable by the bees if placed in pairs on the platforms.
We intend to meet again in about a month’s time, by when we will know how well our bees have over wintered. Several of us intend to go to the BIBBA Bee Breeding Day at Odcombe in about 3 weeks so we shall see each other then.