Tuesday, 15 June 2010

DIY Honeybee Feeder Bags & June Gap

It's the June gap now. This means that in most parts of England there will be a natural break/ shortage of nectar producing flowers. It's at this time of year that your bee population will have increased considerably during the last nectar flow. Now there are many mouths to feed and short supply of food to go around. If the weather has a turn for the worst then you could find your bees are in great trouble and will need a feed. As in previous pages, please never feed your bees if you have honey supers in place. Always remember to remove all supers, only feed the brood box and only if necessary.

So have a look at your bees and if they have little stores then it is important to feed them to ensure they do not starve to death. Nucs or Nuclei, a small starter colony, will need an ongoing supply of feeding to help simulate the queen to lay and encourage your bees to draw out the wax cells vital as receptacles for eggs, pollen and honey stores. Without a helping hand the colony will develop very slowly if at all during a nectar drought.

I have enclosed a few pictures of simple DIY feeding bags that you can make up well in advance and store away in a bucket for times like this. Pour your cane sugar syrup solution into a sandwich bag, twist the end and tie a knot. Now take a piece of flat narrow wood and using frame nails, nail several through the end of the wood so the nail ends extend out the other side. This will be used to puncture pin holes in the bag. Only hit one side of the bag. With the holes on the top, place the bag on the top of the brood frames. You may need an Eke ( a shallow box surround- approx 1/3 the depth of a super box) to allow enough of a gap between the frames your bag and the coverboard. You can of course just leave off the coverboard and place your roof on.

It's a quick and easy method. Your bees will crawl up on top of the bag and feed from it. The pin holes are tiny and the syrup will not leak out as long as the holes are on the top side of the bag. Bees will suck every drop from the bag until it is bone dry.

We use this method for developing nucs and swarms. If you catch a swarm add a bee fed bag as you hive the swarm. This ensures they will take to your travel box/skep. Also during their swarming activity they use up a lot of their food stores and will be VERY grateful for the helping hand!

photo copyright 2010 ©-The Hive Honey Shop

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Colony of honey bees have moved into the wall cavity

I live in Sheffield and a colony of honey bees have moved into the wall cavity by the bedroom window. I would like to move them without killing them.Any ideas please?

I enjoyed Jack Watkins' article in the Telegraph and would to call into your shop in Clapha
m sometime soon.Kind regards

Reply- from The Hive Honey Shop

Hi Chris

The bees can be removed without harm, but in a case like this it will require a bit of building construction work. The best way is to get a local beekeeper and a builder together. The builder will need to remove a part of the inner wall to expose the bees nest. The beekeeper will be able to get at the bees and remove them and clean out the honey and beeswax. The bees can then be taken away without any harm to them. We do this kind of removal all the time. If you were near us we could have helped you this time. All bees can be removed without any harm to them as long as you are committed to doing the ground work.

Hope that helps.

Subject: RE: Bees in a wall
Date: 6 June 2010 23:13:21 BST
Thanks John
I will find a local bee keeper to have a look at the nest and go on from there.

photo copyright 2010 ©-The Hive Honey Shop

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Beekeeping Course Ends, Next one in July!

What a great weekend! The weather was just glorious, hot sunny & dry-just perfect for The Hive Honey Shops open air beekeeping weekend course. Sat was off to a great start with a lovely student group of beekeeping enthusiasts. The food was catered by the Hives own chef -Ute throughout the day.

Sunday was even better with the surprise appearance of a prime swarm! The students were introduced to the technique of hiving a swarm, finding the marked queen and putting it all to right. It was a really welcomed bonus to the days learning. All the students were able to open a hive, work it, and examine it in detail under the supervision of James, the head beekeeper.

Ute provided an open air BBQ consisting of grilled salmon, honey glazed chicken, hamburgers, veggie burgers, grilled vegetables and iced cold drinks, which we really needed after getting out of our bee suits!

The final fun came as we handed out The Hive Honey Shop's Certificated of Beekeeping with a glass of bubbling Prosecco to toast the successful completion to the beekeeping weekend.

Everyone had a wonderful time and many have contacted The Hive in preparation to setting up their first beehive next month.

Our next and final beekeeping course for 2010 will be Sat & Sun, July 17th & 18th. Only 8 places left -so Book Now!

photo copyright 2010 ©-The Hive Honey Shop