Wet Day Fun

In case you have forgotten this is the knot used to join the binding material used when making a skep. Press "New Game" and see if you can get the knot back to how it should be. Page refresh will set the picture right again.

Hive Lures

With so much swarming going on it would be nice if you could set up one of your empty hives as a bait hive. Hopefully the next time you visit the apiary the previously empty hive would be fully populated.

On Ebay, under the category “Beekeeping -used items”, there is some dark brood comb for sale as a potential lure. The price of the frames does make it feasible to use them as a lure.

Advice from those who are experts on apiary hygiene is do not use old brood comb as a lure. Thus the advice is to not purchase used brood comb. It risks bringing disease to your apiary.

A better method of setting up the hive as a bait hive is to set up the hive with clean frames with starter strips in a clean box and include a block of propolis.

Asian Hornet on BBC Today

What a surprise this morning to hear the about the Asian Hornet on BBC Today programme on Radio 4 (The Home Service – for the older readers!)  After the usual stories the last item on the 7am news was the Asian Hornet. I now know that bee keepers are forming a Dad’s Army to look out for this invasion!

In fact the BBC has taken it further and there is an additional entry on the BBC website. Full marks to see that the media has taken it seriously and stuck to the truth.

All of this comes on the back of confirmed sighting in the UK. The sighting was in Monmouth and confirmed as plausible on the BBKA site. Alarming that this occurrence was so far from expected points of entry. 

This is not a time to relax and I ask that all bee keepers continue to monitor their traps. When you do your weekly visit to your hives as described in the June Tasks pause as you approach the hive and look for signs of hawking. 

It is probably too late to see secondary nests in trees, too many leaves,  but if you are out walking keep your eyes open for Asian Hornets. Though hawking at hives is their preferred food source that does not rule out being found in any place there are other flying insects

June Tasks in the Apiary

June already and the bees are busy in the lovely sunshine we are experiencing. Has anyone told them next weekend will be cold and wet?

Anyway I have added a page of information as to what we should be doing in  the apiary this month.

On the swarm front I know that several of us have been called out to swarms and with the splendid weather that we are experiencing then I would not be a bit surprised if we do not get more call outs this week.

One area where it has been very quiet is in our alert system for the Asian Hornet. So far this year we have had no confirmed sightings in England to the best of my knowledge.

Jersey has reported rising numbers of Asian Hornets but numbers are down compared with this time last year.  Remember we must “Be Alert, Control Vespa Velutina, Save our Bees” and the essence of our program is “Track and Trace and Exterminate”. I am pleased to say that the the Covid Virus programme is not quite the same as the Asian Hornet programme!