Sunday, October 16, 2011

End of the season

Hello and welcome to Bees in Bittany.

Over the next year I want to try and show all the things I do with my bees, from management, to building swarm traps, hives and 5 framed mini hives. How and when to carry out an artificial swarm , how and when to put on a honey super and how to extract and jar up the honey and many more small things that I could not find out when I started beekeping but just had to learn for myself. I am hoping all these small things will build into a good years blog and someone may find it really useful for their beekeeping practices.

 A standard 10 framed Dadant hive with Nicot Base and mouse guard fitted

The situation Today!
It is technically the end of the year in the beekeeping calender. The bees have been fed and treated against mites, the mouse guards are going up and the bees are stocking up their larders with the now dwindling supply of food from their last remaing source of Ivy. It has been a good start to the autumn for the bees with record temperatures giving the bees good access to Ivy as well as an unusual bonus of flowering green manures planted by the farmers at the end of their oil seed rape and wheat crops. Some rain and good temperatures have unusually brought these in to flower. These usually grow well in the autum but rarely flower due to poor autumn weather. So despite it being a very dry year with a poor summer honey crop the bees are going in to winter in good form. Good strong hives that are well stocked up.
From now on apart from a few winter flowering shrubs, the bees will have to depend on their carefully stored pollen and honey to get them through the winter.

 Typical Ivy plant in full flower attached to a ruined building.