Dave Bonner inspected the branch bees, so in these times of lockdown, here’s his update:
“I did the first inspections of the Branch Bees on Saturday. Things are looking good.
Previously I had set them up so that the 5 strong colonies were ready for a Bailey Comb change, 1 medium colony had an empty super on and two were weak.
4 of the strong colonies had built up dramatically and were into the new brood box, so the next stage of the comb change has been started – with the queen trapped in the new brood box. Next time the feeders will be removed and a couple of supers put on the hives.
The 5th colony had not got into the new brood box, so I took that away and put a super on. The colony is not strong enough to draw out new comb. I do not know why that should be.
The medium colony was doing OK and bringing in a lot of nectar, so a 2nd super was put on it.
1 of the weak colonies is starting to grow but the other is declining, I suspect bad Nosema – if there is no progress next time I will be despatching it.
There is quite a strong nectar flow. Therefore, a medium to strong colony will require space, so put supers, one or two, onto your hives, drawn comb if you have it, but the bees will draw out foundation .
Give the queen a chance to get a good amount of brood in all stages (end of April) and then think about marking her. The reason for this is in case you damage her, there will be plenty of eggs/young larva to produce a new queen AND there will be mature drones available for a virgin queen to mate with.
Take care and stay safe.
Please see our FAQ’s page to see the latest questions and answers from more experienced beekeepers
While restrictions are in place making it difficult to meet up and share advice / guidance, Coventry BKA is considering establishing a telephone/internet based mentoring system for these novice beekeepers by ‘buddying’ them up with a more experienced beekeeper.
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Dave Bonner has been working hard on his own (keeping up social distancing of course) and has moved most of the equipment from Ryton to London Road.
So the apiary is now up and running and ready for action, but of course our activities are now severely limited by Covid-19.
It was nice to see the bees flying well in the sunshine today, on their new hive stands.
Dr Bill Crofts attended Wolston School to give a general beekeeping talk to the children in March
They were clearly impressed if the reaction of the teacher and thankyou letters are anything to go by. Well done Bill!
“Oh Bill – what a fantastic afternoon – you were amazing – the children have taken on so much of what you told them – thank you so so much for your time, energy and enthusiasm with this afternoons talk about bees. They were so chuffed with the candles that they rolled and were able to take home with them with pride. An absolutely amazing afternoon spent with you – thank you so so much. ”
Bill later received an envelope in the post with a set of thank you letters the children had written.
Dr Bill Crofts attended Myton hospice in early March to give the residents an informal talk on beekeeping.
The talk was well received and Bill received a nice email saying how interesting they found it, and how they would like a return visit at some point.