Wednesday, 17 September 2008

New Link

Hi! Just a quick note to say that I have joined the Bee Improvement & Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) and have attached a link opposite! Although my Beekeeping knowledge and experience may not meet such grand expectations! I felt that they are doing a fantastic job in trying to combat bee disease and improvement at a local level, and every extra member means more money going towards research etc.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The allotment holders take the bees to their hearts

Or so it seems. Its nice to report that one of the first questions I'm asked if I bump in to a fellow allotmenteer around the village is 'how are the bees' or 'are the bees ok in this weather' . The postman even knocks on the door to enquire how they're doing!.

I'd like to think that our bees have captured imaginations, especially as they are in the news more recently with scary headlines about honey shortages etc. Having bees in the village brings the story closer to home and there is an engagement with, and a longing to understand this important insect.

This can only be to the bees advantage; its something we intend to capitalise on as our apiary area takes shape in the village.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Sting in the Tail!

Whilst collecting the samples below, I took the opportunity to inspect a bee that I found by the hive.
Here are a couple of pictures of the reason that most people are afraid of bees....the sting in the tail!
Clearly, you can see the 'barbs' that everyone talks about, what I didn't photograph, was the 1.5cm 'entrail' that came with it! It's now clear to see why bees die after stinging a human. I feel desperately sorry after a bee gets caught in my gloves or suit. Thankfully, the bees that came to me from Maismore are really mellow and gentle!

'A World Without Bees' is this the reason why?

Last night, we had our dear friends Tim & Julie over for supper.

After a sumptuous meal, the girls retired to the sitting room to discuss worldly issues, whilst Tim and I got out my microscope!....ooer!

Here we can see our mutual enemy, the scurge of all Beekeepers the world over, plucked from the board below.

Like all creatures that make you go....ewww! it is simple in its destructive beauty.

Meet the scourge of beekeepers worldwide!

I took out the tray from our hive at home, and here are the results!

Having been inspected earlier in the season, I knew that I had a substantial Varroa load in the hive, after which we removed the drone comb.

But this is the drop after ten days! Each spot on the board is one mite, carrying lord knows what load of virus and disease!

Todays match: Steve V Varroa!

It's that time of year again! Off with the honey (not that we had any!), and in with the pest control!
I am following the advice of the boys at DEFRA, and going with Apiguard. I put in a tray about ten days ago, and now it's on with the second tray for each hive. The girls at the Lottie have done well and, i've taken the risk of re-opening the entrance (to a narrow one). The re-united hive at home has done really well, and has lots of sealed brood, eggs and stores.
Yesterday, I placed new wasp traps at the Lottie, as the others were full.......rain and wasps!
However, we are not out of the woods yet! This time last year, Lynne & I went upstairs to bed.....fnarr, fnarr! to be met with at least 80 wasps in our bedroom! They'd nested in the eaves, little tykes! So it was on with the bee suit.........NO dear readers, titter ye not! and after much swatting, I reclaimed our scrummy sleeping space!