It is another New Year and this one has certainly blown in with a vengeance. So any plans or resolutions for the New Year? I certainly have plans:
- Firstly I am going up the garden to check that the hive is still upright. I have recently moved and now have a garden big enough for a hive at the far end. In fact we may even put two hives up there but that is still under negotiation.
- Whilst checking the hive I will also "heft" it. For those new to beekeeping "to heft" is to lift one side of the hive and assess its weight. If you do this regularly through the winter you can get some idea of the stores available for the bees.
- But the weather is too wet and too windy for anything else out doors so this is a time to learn more about bees. For me part of the fascination of keeping bees is to understand more about them - particularly the organisation of the colony.
- Later this week the weather is expected to dry up but become colder. That is when I will get out to the shed and see what repairs need to be done to equipment. What better way of keeping warm outside than scorching the inside of hives!
- Prepare for the possible incursion of Asian Hornets. 2023 was a close call but hopefully we caught it in time Each nest which we destroyed can produce 350 gynes - that is females that can go on to produce a new nest next in the Spring. Did we find all the nests? Did we destroy all the gynes? Time will tell.
- As part of my preparation for the Asian Hornet I will be attending the Asian Hornet Conference organised by Somerset Beekeepers this weekend. I will report back on that next week.
- Also don't forget YouTube. I used to think it was just videos of teenagers falling of skate boards but in fact there is so much more. I am currently working through the Honey Show videos to be found at (221) National Honey Show - YouTube. They are well worth watching.
- If this interests you then why not join the Dorchester and Weymouth Beekeepers and go on their Beginners' Course. Even if you never want to keep bees it is well worth attending to increase your knowledge of the natural world.