by John Mumford
The Apiary Meeting held in Roy Cropley's garden on a miserable Sunday afternoon (10th June) proved to be very interesting. Roy showed us several Nucs with Queens that were waiting around for a spell of suitable weather to get out and mated. Roy also showed members his honey extraction facilities.
This year has been the most challenging that I have ever experienced in my time keeping bees. Never have I had to feed so much to full colonies in May and June. There has been a lot of swarming, and there have been a lot of colonies with no brood whatsoever, new Queens taking a long time to get mated because of the bad weather. [Less bees - less honey]. If the weather doesn't improve then there will have to be a lot of feeding done this Autumn. There have been times this years that, foragers, when they could get out, where coming back with less than they went out with.
At my Apiary meeting in May I grafted some Queen cells - two of the cells were finished and now the new Queens are up and running. I find that I get much more fun raising Queens than I do lugging heavy supers around. The Nuc we transferred into a hive are doing very well but have needed a lot of TLC to help them draw out the new frames of foundation. At the end of June they needed a super for extra space.
When taking off honey I still prefer the Porter Bee Escape as a means of clearing bees from supers of honey. The gap in the springs needs to be adjusted to 3mm. any smaller and the bees wonít go through, and any bigger, and they get back up.
Our next meeting will be at Pinewood School (SG12 9PB), Adrian Lloyd's Apiary on 22nd July. Please let Jo know if you are going so that she can get the catering right.
Broxbourne Council Open Day 7th July - Roy Cropley will provide the Observation Hive. Setting up and delivery of hive products for sale from 11.00 till 1.30pm. John Mumford, Derek Driver and Tom Dawson. All Vehicles must be off site by 12.15pm and will not be allowed back until at least 5.15pm. There is plenty of free parking in the grounds of the Cheshunt School opposite. The show opens for sales at 2.00pm. 2.00 till 5.00pm. Tom Dawson, Roy Cropley, Maria Fitzjohn, and Tina Rawlings. The show closes at 5.00pm when the stall will be closed down and any unsold goods can be taken away.