American Foulbrood detected in central Oxford

Submitted by will on Wed, 05/25/2016 - 12:05

There is an outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) in central Oxford at the moment.

AFB affects very young brood inside the nest and is very serious. Its bacterial spores are transmitted through infected honey.

The bees fill their stomachs with honey when they swarm, so I've been advised that a new swarm should be forced to use up all of this stored honey to remove the chance of transmission. In practice this means:

Catching and hiving swarm for my new apiary

Submitted by will on Wed, 05/25/2016 - 11:33

I set up 2 hives a few weeks ago and registered with swarm officers. I've been waiting, but the weather has been relatively cold (air temp at 10am was greater than 15C only on 7th-10th and 12th May - source Radcliffe Observatory).

At about midday yesterday I was told about a swarm in Risinghurst. I took my swarm catching kit (bee suit; bee brush; cardboard box; gaffer tape) and found it in a very easy position. The swarm was on a hedge next to the pavement at chest level. I put the lip of the box beneath the swarm and gave a vigorous shake. In they went.

New apiary in central Oxford

Submitted by will on Wed, 05/25/2016 - 11:23

I am establishing an 'out' apiary in central Oxford. I already maintain a single hive at home.

This will consist of 2 hives with Commercial brood bodies. They are sited on the roof of a building, equivalent to the 5th floor. I will be populating them with swarms caught in the local area. They have loads of forage in University Parks, down the Cherwell river and in nearby college gardens.