Saturday, September 12, 2015

2015 Autumn: more incompetent beekeeping

I finally get around to looking at the hives, prompted by Nikola asking if I have Apistan. I haven't, so I buy some online from Thorne's. And Saturday is a lovely afternoon, so after an hour preparing the way with the lawnmower I'm finally in a position to look inside.

You may want to read May 2015.

"New" hive, the flat-topped one, that was vigourous in spring: from the outside, very quiet, so I'm not hopeful. Take off the top and its full of bees. But, its also got comb hanging from the roof, so put that back on and move down. Its set for hive-and-a-half. Next super (the half) also has stuff, and I poke around, looking for brood: none. Move down to the brood box: rather thinner, and no obvious brood. Hum. Well, its Autumn I suppose. But still. Having thought about moving it back to just-brood I decide against, and leave it alone; and put the Apistan into the half. Moving up, for unclear reasons, I take some of the slabs of comb out of the top.

"Main hive" - the slope-roofed one that wasn't very vigourous in spring. Well, still looks a bit thin. Top super: empty. Next down: nearly empty. Brood box: looks fine. Leave it alone, put Apistan in, close up.

I really need to find more time to spend on the bees. I should clear the weeds away more permanently, renew some of the boxes, renew some of the comb, fix the flat roof, get myself some new gloves... the list is endless.

I should also sit in the sun watching them more often.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Taking off the Rape

I'm busy at the moment, so had been putting off taking of the rape supers. Which of course just makes it worse.

But this afternoon was warm and I finally knuckled down to it. 4 supers in all, most with some crystallisation but not too bad. Get the extractor I have a 1/3 share in, annoyed that my co-owner has slightly bent it (straighten) and left it wet (clean and dry it). I could have done without those two.

In the evening, extract, with the help of my kids; get it practically full, so thats judged just about right. And then return the supers to the bees, just as it starts raining.

And all without getting stung once!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

One good, one bad

Worried about solid rape in the hives, so today I had a look at 2/3 of them.

Small hive turns out to have no obvious brood... oops. Well it may recover I suppose.

2nd hive has brood, and a fair amount of stores, but still seems reasonably liquid. So I don't think I need to hurry about extracting it. Might do it tomorrow, time and the tide suiting.

Phone John Rayner, CBKA, to see if they still want my 2nd hive, and they do, so he will probably come to collect tomorrow evening. Which will be a bit more free time for me!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Waking up

First post of the year. Its been a cold start to the year and I haven't done much.

About 2 weeks ago I looked into my two main hives, and removed 3 brood comb from each. This was a Cunning Plan on my part. It was based on the idea of replacing some comb each year, to prevent them becomming to old, warped, and disease prone. But I also thought, aha, that will knock them back a little and maybe they won't swarm.

I didn't do it to hive 3, and lo and behold yesterday ago I had a swarm. Which I recaptured, offered to the CBKA, and then today it had gone. Hey ho.

The Larder at Barton has sold 20 jars of my honey and wants some more, how splendid. And an enquiry from the National Trust.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Removing apistan

Last task of the year (perhaps): I removed the apistan strips from hives 1 and 2 (they had been in since sept 14th, so now was about right. A warm and nearly windless day. The bees flying, a bit, and I thought I wouldn't see a better day this year.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

FAO recipes

Not my bees, but this:

"Bee sweets and chocolate coated bees"... perhaps I should try. But should the bees be fresh or dried?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Jarring Honey

Yesterday I put up 8 lbs (heated honey from various. Looked OK).

Today I have jarred about 16 lb unheated, from the last extraction. That will be the last of the year.