The first lecture after lunch was Tom Prendergast on the subject of 10 hives : 500 pounds of honey. He took it at the gallop and I, and others, had the usual post-prandial powerpoint problem: nodding off at times. As a result, my notes are sporadic and not all legible.
50lbs of honey per colony is a reasonable expectation – not a big ask – if conditions are ok. Decisions need to be made and acted upon at the right time. Have a plan to follow.
We all have an excuse: the weather! Bees survive whatever the weather. Local bees are best though. Bad mating: they manage some years better than others. Varroa. We never blame ourselves!
The reality is that in every apiary in Spring there may be good, ok, bad or dead hives but they should be fairly even by mid June. This is when you should start thinking about the following year.
Odd jobs: disease check; Varroa control; frame changes in brood chamber and supers; apply pesticides; feed when needed. Check hygiene with the needle test.
‘Brexit’ might mean bee-exit, ie fewer imports. Drone are important. Know where your neighbours are.
After the lecture I took the advantage of the coffee break to visit the Honey Show. Standards were high as always, which is why the Irish walk off with so many prizes at the National Honey Show in London. I’m not very interested in honey but was very impressed by the encaustic paintings of Lorraine and by a picture of a colony that had built a home in a bush, by Ettamarie. I took a photograph of it and posted it on Facebook..