November now

It is not yet cold enough to worry about – though there was a frost this morning. It is cold enough to not open the hives. So what so we do in November in the apiary? This post will help you.

As I add in the post this is a good time of the year to be thinking about further study. Personally I have started to work my way through the modules on the BBKA site. There is so much out there on the net to help you with your studies. As before I recommend the Norfolk Honey Company videos on You Tube.

There are also a lot of lectures still available on line. This week I have registered on Eventbrite for a lecture by Dr Samuel Ramsey on Tropilaelaps. I have heard his talk on Varroa destructor and he is a most entertaining and informative speaker.

New BBKA sylabus

BBKA Module Exams 2022
If you are considering taking a BBKA module exam in 2022 then do be certain to check the new syllabus. There are significant differences between the November 2021 exams and the exams for 2022.

Just as an example the 2021 syllabus for Module 1 Honey Bee Management Syllabus says the syllabus covers the use of wax foundation, ways of getting wax fully drawn.

The new syllabus specifies that the syllabus now covers materials employed to emulate foundation as well as the use of wax foundation. It also requires the candidate to also know of the works of J.Mehring, E.B.Weed and Captain J.E. Hetherington.

It helps that the changes are in bold on the 2022 syllabus and this makes it much easier to see the changes. Personally I find the new syllabus much more informative and I now know where to direct my studies.

That is just looking at wax in Module 1. There are a lot more changes than this and rather than list the changes I suggest anyone considering taking one of the modules looks at the new syllabus on the BBKA website.  More information on the exams can be found on the BBKA site.

For Sale

We have a “For Sale” page which has proved very successful. In fact it is so successful the item which I advertised yesterday has already gone! Perhaps this can act as a reminder. Now is a good time to go through all your equipment, clean it and see what you still need. This is an ideal opportunity to sort it all out and what you do not need can be moved on to someone who does need it.

Whilst I have your attention a reminder of the honey survey. In an attempt to get a fuller picture based on facts rather than hearsay the BBKA is conducting a survey on honey yields. The survey is available from this link. it is available from now to the 25th October. Do respond. It also asks a couple of questions on training requirements. If you are still extracting then you still have a month to do the survey.

Even more whilst I have your attention do not forget that membership renewals are now due. The form is here from where it can be easily downloaded and processed. For those who prefer pdf format that is available here.

Honey Survey

Honey Jar with Bee Spoon

Well it has been a funny old year – in the meaning of peculiar rather than hilarious. There are reports of increased honey yields from some and from others there are reports of reduced honey yields.

In an attempt to get a fuller picture based on facts rather than hearsay the BBKA is conducting a survey on honey yields. The survey is available from this link. it is available from now to the 25th October. Do respond. It also asks a couple of questions on training requirements. If you are still extracting then you still have a month to do the survey.

More Varroa Research

Varroa on a bee
Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

This is the time of year when we are attempting to minimise the number of varroa in our colonies so as to give the bees a better chance over the winter. It was because of this that I have been reading the Varroa booklet from the NBU.

The booklet is important but quite hard work. So after ploughing through that I went to a video by Dr Samuel Ramsey which he gave to the Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers at their Honey Show. I suspect I learned more from that video about Varroa than I did from all my reading.

For example – look at the bee above. When you open the hive if you see that you know you have a varroa problem. If you do not see that then do you have a varroa problem? Well the answer is in the video. It turns out that varroa prefer to hide under the bee where they can get better access to the Fat Bodies. It truly is a fascinating video.

Not only is the video highly informative but it is also highly entertaining. He is an excellent speaker and I recommend you watch the video so that you better understand the reason that varroa is such a problem. If you are also inspired to read his research papers on varroa as well as on other subjects then he has a website which is worth exploring.