Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A lesson in artificial swarming

Beekeepers from the region attend workshop in artificial swarming.

Last sunday 15th July, Myself and a group of beekeepers from the surrounding region attended a lesson in artificial swarming. 
The Lessons are held by my beekeeping teacher Mr Charles Basset, at his place in Quevert. The whole objective is to pass on the theory and practice the technique of artificial swarming on the Dadant hive here In Brittany.

 Charles has  been carrying out this method for over 20 years and now has a success rate of about 85 percent.

The method is as described in one of my previous blogs, as is the video posted on you tube.

We carried out AS on about 15 hives at two sites, giving everyone practice and the confidence to carry out the procedure on their own hives when the need arises, avoiding swarming and losing half your colony.

I had used this method myself many times before but it was great to go along and meet new beekeepers , who had`nt used or seen this done and I was able to help explain in more detail to a couple of english speaking  beekeepers, who were in their first year of beekeeping.

 I always say you never stop learning with beekeeping. This was a first for me. This photo shows clearly what hapends when your hive becomes congested and bees start to run out of space. They build comb else where, wherever they can. In this case the top feeding tray of a combined frame cover and feeder
Their wax working is quite a work of art, if a little disjointed..

A lovely picture of the 5 framed nuc in place of the donor hive. All the flying bees from the mother hive begin to return from their foraging  to find a new hive in its place but no queen. Look at all that lovely pollen they are carrying.!
The next "seance" will probably be on, or around the 15th Aprill 2013. Please feel to e mail me nearer the time, or contact Charles Basset via the link on this blog if you want some more information or just to make contact.

Going to these events is a really great way of getting to know a few faces in the french beekeeping world and I think a great place to comment about the really crappy weather!

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