Well as usual its a fair while since i posted. Winter has been very long, wet and damp and only the last week its been really cold. I cant remember a winter when we've had so much continuous rain, wind and just damp., either drizzle or fog and just downright miserable. Sunshine has been just about unheard of!
However the last 10 days have been considerably different. Wall to wall sunshine but the wind flow from the East has taken over and temperatures last were below freezing for most of the week. A pleasant change but it was going out of the frying pan, in to the fire. If you worked outside, it was almost unworkable. Bitter winds from the east really made things difficult.
Ive just completed another video, reflecting the very positive feedback from the video i did called the cell builder explained. This one has the same title but its questions and answers to the comments on my you tube video.
I wa also very privileged and humbled to be asked by the Jersey beekeepers Association to come and talk about my queen rearing methods.
It was an extremely cold and windy night where i presented to about 40 beekeepers from the JBKA. they were a fantastic bunch, keen to find out how they could raise good queens.
They did a film about my presentation. The sound quality is a little poor but you will get the idea. It was a bit nerve wracking at the beginning because this was my first presentation to a group of people, fortunately they were very forgiving!
I think they were happy with the presentation. I received some good feedback and some good questions. Also some nice gifts, which i was pretty chuffed with.
I drink a lot of tea and coffee, so perfect gift and a great experience for me to have to present. keeps you on your toes and furthers your development.
Winter prep coming along well, but as usual ts always difficult to find time to fit everything in. the next 100 hives are all but finished painting. However being away for a week and the cold weather hasn't helped. I will soon be assembling the hives together, putting on handles, that bases, frame covers etc. Lots and lots to do.
They get to cure and dry out well before the bees go in around mid to late April.
So next thing will hopefully be a first very brief inspection for feed levels etc in mid march if the weather permits. This is critical to hopefully detect and disease that went unnoticed before the winter, If there was some disease, i want to find it before the bees really start to fly, so they dont rob out a diseased colony and potentially spread any nasties. I am confident i am clean, but checking all as soon as you can is a sure way to prevent spread if there was anything sinister going on.
Ive been feeding candy to a few of my colonies and i am using a thick insulated EKE that means i can keep the same roof top on the bees but also keep an easy eye on whats happening with the candy levels. This also means i can replace the candy with a circular rapid feeder when the bees start to fly regularly in about 3 weeks and i switch to liquid feed.
I am currently doing another last video before the pressures of the season start. It will be a run down of my production cycle and how it fits in with the main nectar groups.
Wishing you all "alive" hives when you get to do your first inspections.