Oxford Bees

The Varroa finally appear

Submitted by will on Tue, 25/09/2018 - 05:51

The weather has turned colder, with only a few hours when it's warm enough for the bees to fly. Yesterday they were very busy in my out apiary.

My bee group remarked that their hives had a lot of activity at their entrances, with lots of orientation flights. They suggested that there had been a burst of young bees hatched in the previous days and these were getting to know the area. The drop off in brood rearing may also have been releasing nurse bees to fly.

Colony 11 united with Colony 1 but was it a success?

Submitted by will on Sun, 16/09/2018 - 07:15

A week ago I brought Colony 11 back to my apiary in Headington and combined it with Colony 1. I'm not sure whether to call it a success or a failure but it is now done.

I moved Colony 11 again from its temporary location back to Headington on the evening of Saturday 8th Sept. Early the next morning. I removed the top of Hive A and Hive B. I placed a sheet of newspaper over the crown board. I cracked the body of Hive B from its base and placed it on top of of the newspaper. The hives were now separated but joined.

Ivy Honey

Submitted by will on Sun, 09/09/2018 - 07:15

Ivy is a major late crop for bees. There is a lot available around Oxford and the bees love it.

The problem for bee keepers is that the Ivy honey sets very hard and doesn't taste nice. The taste is not much of a problem because the honey won't spin out in an extractor but the hard set makes it less useful in Winter for the bees.

Honey which sets releases water during crystallisation which can ferment inside the cell. Apparently the fermented liquid can give the bees Dysentry.