SE Herts News - August 2012

by John Mumford

I have received notice that bees around the Standon & Puckeridge area will be getting  a visit from the Bee Inspector due to an outbreak of EFB. This follows an outbreak of AFB a few years ago. This new EFB outbreak could posibly be connected with the one around Wareside but is not yet proven. Bees don’t just develop EFB, the disease is passed around by ignorant beekeepers who either don’t know, or don’t care about their neighbour’s bees. There is also an ongoing outbreak of EFB in the Enfield area. We have managed to keep a clean bill of heath in the SE.Herts ares for many, many years - lets keep it that way. Please be particularly vigilant when purchasing bees or equipment from any source, combs in particular, what may seem a bargain could very well be a poison chalice.

On a brighter note I can report that Adrian Lloyd is out of hospital but must take things easy for a while until things settle down. Meanwhile he is off on a well earned holiday.

I hope those who came to my apiary on 22nd. July didn’t mind doing a bit of my beekeeping for me, especially the novice beekeepers, thanks. I trust they enjoyed themselves. The Queen Rearing Group may be interested to know that of the 10 cells we grafted, 6 were accepted and produced some fine Queen cells, however when I checked a couple of days before the Queens were due to emerge I found a rogue Queen had taken over and destroyed the lot. Back to the drawing board!

It is now time to start getting the bees prepared for Winter. The bees have had a tough time and there is not much honey stores in some of the brood nests, so be careful when taking honey off that the bees have sufficient stores to keep them going until Winter Feeding is started. (Colonies should have a minimum of 5Kg. of honey stores at all times). Tesco’s sugar at £3.99 per 5Kg. pack is still the best buy.

There has been a lot of swarming through July, and I have had reports that there are more than a few colonies that have no brood. Bees are seldom without a Queen unless the beekeeper has been interfering. however if several days after a sunny spell there is still no brood then the bees may need some help. Get some advice from a more experienced beekeeper.

There will be a Committee Meeting at Heaton Court at 8.00pm. on Thursday 23rd August. And September is going to be a busy month. Our next meeting will be 3.00pm. at Bayford on Sunday 9th. September at the Association Apiary. We will be providing a stall at Van Hage’s Garden Centre, times and dates have yet to be decided, and then there is the HBKA Bee World Show at Capel Manor on Saturday 15th. September.

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