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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Apistan and return supers

Today (about 5 pm, but it was a warm day) I:

- removed the single apistan strip from hive 3 (bang on time). Hive looks good. Also gave it one of the spun supers for luck.

- put two apistan strips into each of hives 1 and 2 (hive 1 got the other spun super). Bees rather annoyed with this but they didn't get me ha ha. Two were Nikolas (dated 2005/12) and two from JR (undated, but I assume long: the two spare from him I put back in Nikolas packet, so the date looks wrong. Beware). Hive 1, 2 both vigourous though 1 only has brood across 5-6 frames. Shuffle those about into the centre a bit.

- replaced the crown board on hive 2 because it was falling to bits and needs repair: over winter.

- sold £5 (2 jars, runny) to a woman who called by.

Still to do: decant the honey in the extractor.

The picture isn't random: someone asked my permission to use it in an Agricultural Sciences textbook! I said yes, if you send me a copy of the book.