The last apiary meeting finished on a beautiful September's day. Bees behaved themselves and now we should all be in the process of making Winter preparations for our bees. Varroa treatments should be well underway if not already finished and we should commence feeding. During the meeting I explained how to test that the colonies have adequate weight - (honey reserves) by hefting hives and examining individual frames. We checked for eggs and young brood indicating that a queen is present. We learnt to feed bees if in doubt; rather feed more than too little, too little will result in the loss of the colony. I also pointed out that before thymol treatments (Apiguard) begin, make sure bees have good food reserves otherwise they may abscond due to the thymol vapours. I lost two nucs because of this this year. One had a queen excluder fitted so that the queen could not get out and she was found left behind with brood - dead! Note that 'absconding' has never happened to me on an OMF (open mesh floor). I demonstrated fitting a mouse guard and mentioned the types of pest protection - netting helps keep the hives safe while bees are inactive.
I would like to thank all our members for a fantastic year and let's hope all of us have another good year next season especially for all our beginners. Please don't forget - member subscriptions will be sent out towards the end of the month or most likely beginning next; to be returned early November if you wish to subscribe to Beecraft. Some of you have outstanding credit notes from unfulfilled beecraft payments from this year.
We can't let the year end here without a further get together and thank you for all your support with our "Harvest Supper" in October (details to follow shortly) and possibly a smaller Christmas get together late November - early December?
In the meantime and comments, views or suggestions are always welcome.