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Apiary

Members are welcome to attend the Association Apiary meetings as advertised..  If you would like to go along, please check timings and remember to take clean gloves and boots. There are always plenty of suits available to borrow from the apiary.

Remember that the weather can lead to last minute changes … a quick phone call could save a wasted journey!

 Details of weekly visits and leaders can be found on the calendar and home page of our website.
The 2018 Apiary Management Committee -AMC –¬† have written a policy for the new season. Please take time to have a read … it explains the aims and management approach¬† we hope to achieve!
Click here to see a copy of the current Apiary Risk Assessment document. Please take time to read and follow the advice it contains.
Here is the latest report from the Apiary Management Committee –

Apiary Update May 2018

Things are looking up at the Apiary!

Colony 1, our one strong colony produced queen cells in early May so is now two, and we are waiting for a new queen to emerge from the queen cell we retained. Brian Godfrey very kindly took samples of bees and alsosampled the faecal spotting on the parent colony and tested for Nosema ‚Äď they were negative (see posting about next Members‚Äô session).

Colony 3 (the Dustbin swarm from last year) has really perked up since uniting with the bees from 2 which had a drone laying queen and is building up steadily.

We have a new colony Рnumber 4  Рa cast swarm collected by Carole Brown and Sally Boxall. Lovely calm bees and the queen is now mated and laying nicely.

Finally, Number 6 has hopefully managed to supersede their old queen who is still in there with an emerged supersedure cell so we are waiting for signs of a new queen laying.

So we now have 5 hives. Three queenright colonies and 2 waiting/hoping for new queens to get going.

On 19th of May, Kevin Pope inspected all the hives for disease with the students. He found a tiny bit of bald brood, one cell of sac brood and a few neglected larvae in the superseding colony but no significant disease in any. Yet another interesting and informative session from our seasonal bee inspector ‚Äď thank you Kevin.

Carole Astbury

Apiary visit on April 7th
The temperature was still not above 10 degrees or so but at least we did not get rain. About a dozen people turned up and some brave souls used power tools on the far pillars of the barn to attach netting.
Beewise, it turned out to be a hugely disappointing visit because of the generally poor state of the colonies.
The polyhive — Hive 1 — (historically a daughter of L4) was thriving, however. This is a 14″ x 12″ hive, warm way, with a queen marked white, and she was seen. There was worker brood on the east side of the brood box, with lots of stores. The super‚Ä謆of stores which had been been under the brood box was moved on top, above a queen excluder. The plan for this colony is to replace at least some if not all the comb once the temperature improves.
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Hive 2 turned out to have drone brood on worker cells in the brood chamber. There was sparse worker brood on one frame and also an empty, hatched queen cell. The lower super was largely empty of stores so we shook the bees from it into the brood box and removed the super. Note:‚Äč it was thought that‚Ä謆this colony had mild chronic bee paralysis virus last year. Its mother colony was checked for deformed wing virus in 2016 and had 75% B DWV. So we do not move frames from this hive.
In Hive 3 (historically the Dustbin Hive) there was a little worker brood, including eggs, on frames 6 and 7 only. We did not see the queen. We left the bottom super to check next time. It is possible that this lower box has an enthusiastically laying queen and lots of brood, but we thought it unlikely.

Hives 4 and 5 had very small clusters of dead bees but plenty of liquid stores nearby‚Äč. There had been activity in early March but we assume that the queens had failed early in the autumn. ‚ÄčKaput.

¬†Hive 6 — the most easterly hive ‚Äčalso had ‚Äčsome ‚Äčdrone brood on worker cells in the brood chamber, plenty of stores and a few bees with deformed wings. The queen was seen. We removed the box of stores which had been under the brood box¬† and which contained a lot of mouldy comb and replaced the old floor with a clean one.

 

We will give them all a bit more time and a chance to improve before any management decisions are made.

‚ÄčCaroline Dilke‚Äč

For further details contact the Association Secretary by email or telephone: secretary@westdorsetbees.org.uk Tel 01308 456210