We are now well in to May and the first report of a swarm has come in. It has to
be said that it comes from a member in our western territories who has the questionable
privilege of being the proud - and somewhat nervous - keeper of the swarmiest strain
of bees east of the Duddon and west of .. pretty well anywhere. Nevertheless it warns
us of what is to come.
If you are working in your early years of keeping, remember that it is important
to check carefully for queen cells every six days or so from now until we get past
midsummer. Ensuring that your bees have plenty of room for expansion is one way to
discourage (though not eliminate) swarming and make sure that they have available
storage space as well as brood space. If they have to start filling brood comb with
nectar the queen will not be able to keep laying. When checking, concentrate on the
bottom and side edges of frames and you only need to take action if there is an egg
or larva, with royal jelly, in that unsealed queen cell. If you’re then uncertain
about how to proceed, get in touch for advice.
My numbers: 07484678589 and 015395 32276
Setting up a bait hive, if you have the kit to do it, is not a bad idea either. A
few spare frames in a brood box (with a base, crownboard and lid) is all it takes.
Who knows, you might attract a swarm. If you do, check it for disease early and treat
for varroa if in any doubt – they hitch a ride.
The apiaries remain closed at time of writing but we’ll assess the situation in the
light of the latest advice as it comes and let you know as soon as any development
is possible. Mentors are able to visit members’ sites to offer help where needed
– observing distancing rules at all times.
We’re pleased to report that we have received some financial support from grant-awarding
charities towards the costs of creating the apiary at Outcast and some new equipment
for the Association. We will summarise all of this for you when all the decisions
BDI insurance certificates will be arriving with members very soon. Where possible
they will be sent by email but if anyone requires the paper version please advise
by contacting Carole Barr, Crook Barn, Torver, Cumbria LA21 8BP and enclosing a SAE
for the certificate to be posted back.
If you’ve not yet paid you will not have been included in this return and to activate
your insurance you should contact Carole immediately.
Finally, this message, along with other communications with and from members, is
on Facebook at the “Furness Beekeepers” Public Group.