Oxford Bees

Damage

Winter Losses: 5-NIL

Submitted by will on Sun, 12/03/2017 - 14:55

Colonies can fail over winter. Surveys suggest that about 10% fail in a good year; more in a bad one. At the moment, none of my colonies have failed. I'm happy.

It's too early to be certain that all will survive into summer. Each colony will strike a balance between brood production and foraging. If they make too much brood when the forage is poor, they may starve.

Failure can happen because of disease, starvation or an external event. There are lots of diseases and lots of events. There is only one cause of starvation.

Knock down update - no visible problems in either hive

Submitted by will on Wed, 01/03/2017 - 10:47

I've been keeping an eye on the two hives which were blown over during Storm Doris.

Neither is showing any significant visible sign of damage:

  • There were no dead bees on the floor of the hive (as far as I could see).
  • The fall of wax cappings appears to be the normal.
  • Hive D had some drops of honey on the removeable hive floor, but only just enough for me to taste (yum)

I'll see in a couple of months how these hives have fared. I'm still seeking data on the peak wind speed.

A double knock down during Storm Doris

Submitted by will on Fri, 24/02/2017 - 06:43

Storm Doris blue through yesterday. Two of the three hives in my out apiary where knocked over. Fortunately all had hive straps so the boxes did not separate. The stand for Hive C cracked when I righted it, but it stayed upright.

The lesson for hives in exposed positions would seem to be: