Tips for the month:

• The very odd weather has meant that bees have been bringing in pollen into December, but I didn’t notice too much in January. Now as Spring is just round the corner we should once again be seeing pollen being brought in, and this would indicate that the queen has increased her laying and there is brood in the hive which means the bees need food (pollen and carbohydrate/sugar) to make brood food, and keep the queen well fed. The unusually warm winter has probably meant that stores have been used up more quickly, so make sure they survive the winter by supplying fondant and pollen patties if no pollen is available near the hives.

Read more: February 2016

Tips for the month:

• The very warm December temperatures are presenting our bees with a challenge. Many are still flying and bringing in pollen, but this increased activity at a time when usually they would be clustering, means that they are using up more food supplies than normal.

Read more: January 2016

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Keep checking on your hives every few weeks to make sure all is well - eg roofs have not blown away, and heft hives to check on stores.

Review your hive records to see what worked and what did not - thinking about which hives you want to increase from, which hives need comb changes - by doing a Bailey comb change or shook swarm.

Read more: December 2015

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Hopefully all mouseguards are in place.  Now is the time to also protect against woodpeckers if you have seen the large green woodpecker in the vicinity of your apiary.

September and October have provided some surprises weather-wise, and given the bees a little extra time to top up stores and pollen for the winter ahead.  It is important now not to disturb the bees and let them form a cluster for the winter.

Read more: November 2015

chicken wired beehive

The branch apiary is set for winter now with feeding complete and the hives protected from woodpeckers (and hopefully badgers) with staked chicken wire.


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