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Simon Jones RBI demonstrates how to conduct an inspection for bee disease

On Saturday 4th May Simon Jones, RBI for the South West, visited the WDBKA apiary to lead a disease inspection. He started the afternoon talking about the anticipated arrival of the Asian Hornet and asked all beekeepers to be especially vigilant.

Asian Hornet trap

Asian Hornet trap

Our apiary may  become a sentinel apiary with a specially designed hornet trap. Simon also encouraged  everyone to have a go at constructing their own trap, following guidance  from the BeeBase website.

The meeting was well supported by 32 members who appreciated the opportunity to see Simon in action and answer various questions relating to the season so far. He stressed the importance of maintaining high standards of hygiene and controlling varroa levels to reduce susceptibility to viral infection.

Simon Jones RBI gives an introductory talk to WDBKA members before demonstrating how to conduct a colony inspection for disease.

Simon Jones addresses WDBKA members

The Langstroth hive, in which the predatory mites were introduced last month, has maintained an acceptable level of mite drop. The colony has continued to build up and a second super was added.  The other two hives were relatively weak in comparison and Simon identified a variety of signs for concern. He carried out a test for EFB, which proved negative. He considered that there was evidence of viral damage and recommended that both hives are treated to reduce the high level of varroa. The apiary committee have decided to try the Mite Away Quick Strips which will be introduced next weekend.

Bill Brushett shares his idea for a home made frame for cut comb production

Bill Brushett shares his idea for a home made frame for cut comb production

Bill Brushett  also brought along a new idea to share with everyone. He had used a piece of correx plastic boarding to fashion a frame to encourage his bees to create fresh comb. In the brood box this could be used for drone trapping. Frames in the supers might help with the production of cut comb honey. We wait to hear the results of his trial.

The afternoon ended with a tasty spread of cakes and biscuits. Members will be pleased to hear that our gas bottle has been refilled so no one will need to go home thirsty after the next meeting – this will be held on Saturday 1st June.

We look forward to welcoming Mervyn Bown, our County President.

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