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2018 Summer Meeting Notes

Apiary Meeting July 14th 2018

Notes for Living With Varroa – download the PDF file

Swarming Control and Prevention

Notes on the Apiary Meeting of April 28th 2018

Swarming control is all about keeping your bees when you find queen cells being made. Swarm prevention is an attempt to stop or delay the swarming impulse.

As a beginner it can seem daunting, unfathomable or even intimidating, but the colony manipulations are all based on a simle set of rules.

  • Remember the basic life cycle of the queen and workers.
  • When moved, older flying bees will always fly back to the hive they know as home.
  • The colony may be thought of as consisting of three parts:
    The queen, the flying bees and the brood (including nurse bees). Separating one part from the other two will usually bring about a reduction of the swarming impulse.

As promised, Richard has put together some notes in the form of a PDF document which can be downloaded HERE.

Method 1 is for colonies where no queen cells have been found (swarm prevention) and Method 2 is for colonies where queen cells have been started (swarm control).

The diagram shows the layout of the Snelgrove board. The mesh is usually on both sides of the board to prevent physical contact of bees. The ‘doors’ need to be stiff to prevent accidental opening or closing. In Snelgrove’s design entrances were effected by cutting out a wedge. Pivoting doors have the advantage that they do not fall out, get detached or lost.

Snelgrove board

May is the time to carry out these types of hive manipulation as there is plenty of time for the resulting colonies to build up for the winter. You may even get a surplus.

Happy Beekeeping

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Recent update = Asian hornet page


News & Events

What’s that Buzz? Plants hear when bees are coming
New research has shown that plants can ‘hear’ sounds around them and flowers respond to the buzz of approaching bees by producing sweeter nectar. The research biologists from Tel Aviv University played recordings of flying bee sounds to evening primrose flowers and found that after a few minutes the sugar concentration in the flower’s nectar had increased by 20% on average when compared with flowers left in silence or submitted to higher pitched sounds.
The authors of the report say that, for the first time, they have shown plants can rapidly respond to pollinator sounds in an ecologically relevant way.
Producing sweeter nectar in response to the sounds of bees can help entice the insects to visit the flowers and increase the chances of its pollen being distributed.
Thanks to Ann P. for spotting this article in the Times.
Scientists sew trackers to Asian Hornets to find and destroy nests before they kill honeybees
Britain’s beekeepers are turning to technology to prevent aggressive Asian hornets destroying their colonies. In a first successful trial, experts at the University of Exeter attached tracking devices to the backs of the voracious hornets and then followed them back to their nests.
Asian hornet information
The June edition of the BBKA News has extensive information about the Asian hornet threat. In particular, pages 209 and 210 have full colour reproductions of the Asian hornet alert document issued by the Non Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) for you to cut out and use as your personal guide to identification of this invasive species.
EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides
More information can be found at:          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/eu-agrees-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other