Dear Members,

Hopefully, most of you will have managed to at least start your varroa treatments, but there is still time to do so early in September if you are a bit behind. You can do this while temperatures remain relatively high.

Last month I mentioned Kirsty Stainton as a good source of information about Varroa and she has now published a book on ‘Managing Varroa’ which the RKBA has just purchased for the Library.  If you would like to borrow this book, or any other book, please come along to the next meeting in September and talk to Gail Plester who runs the Library. 

The library is a good source of information to widen and improve your beekeeping. We also have a new book on ‘Honey Show Classes’ by John Goodwin for those interested in entering Honey shows.  Warwickshire will be holding their Honey show in October and I would encourage you to think about participating as it is a good opportunity to learn more about preparing different sorts of honey also other products such as mead or cooking with honey and wax products.

Just a reminder for those who extracted honey this year, do be aware that your honey should be correctly labelled (I am informed that even if you give honey away, your labels should comply with Honey Regulations).  We have article detailing what you need to have on your honey jar label.

Now is the time to ensure your bees have sufficient stores to keep them well fed during the winter - remember this can stretch through to March or April. If you are near ivy this is a surprisingly good source of late nectar.  Looking at the ivy flower it is hard to believe that it produces anything significant. However, you will find older ivy covered with bees - usually in October, but it is likely that this year with the warm dry conditions that have persisted into late August, that the ivy will flower early.  While ivy nectar is an important late food source for the bees it also has some drawbacks.  Ivy nectar will crystallise quickly and tends to be very hard, making it difficult for the bees to use later in the winter so it is good for it to be mixed with other nectar if possible.  

We don’t yet have Indian or Himalayan balsam in this area which is a good source of late nectar, so we are reliant on Dahlia, Michaelmas Daisies, Hebes and Sedum for the bees to supplement the stores you have hopefully left them to overwinter on. Of course, you can also feed sugar syrup to ensure they have sufficient stores.  This means that in a National broodbox you would be overwintering on at least 8 full frames of stores or a full super and 3-4 full brood frames of honey.

Remember when assessing winter stores to ensure that your bees have pollen and honey as pollen contains the protein, minerals, vitamins and lipids essential for their health.  If they don’t have sufficient, brood can’t be reared and workers will die early. 

You will now also need to store supers that have been extracted. Although it is often suggested that wax moths are only found in frames that have had brood in them, I have not found this to be the case.  If you can, place frames in the freezer for 48 hours then stack supers carefully with no gaps, on a flat surface, and cover with a solid board so that moths cannot enter.  The lesser wax moth can get through quite small apertures and apparently chews through plastic, so storing frames in bin bags does not work. 

Regards, and stay safe and well.

Margaret Holdsworth  


Beebase News Web feed
  • Annual National Hive Count Commences / Y Cyfrif Cychod Gwenyn Cenedlaethol Blynyddol yn Dechrau
    01 November 2022
    The National Bee Unit is pleased to launch the 2022 National Hive Count today, 1st of November.

    The hard slog of summer beekeeping is done so make yourself a nice cup of tea, grab your laptop and sink into your favourite chair. It’s time to update your BeeBase records!

    We would like to ask all beekeepers to please login to BeeBase and make a note of the total number of colonies you will be taking into the winter as of 1st November 2022. This task is quick and simple, just click here, login and fill in the short form. Even if you have no overwintering colonies this season it is still important to update your BeeBase record to reflect that. This survey will run until 31st December 2022.

    For more information about the Hive Count click here.


    Mae'n bleser gan yr Uned Wenyn Genedlaethol lansio Cyfrif Cychod Gwenyn 2022 heddiw, 1 Tachwedd.

    Mae'r haf hir o gadw gwenyn wedi mynd heibio felly gwnewch baned o de, estynwch eich gliniadur ac ymlaciwch yn eich hoff gadair. Mae'n amser i chi ddiweddaru'ch cofnodion BeeBase!

    Hoffem ofyn i wenynwyr fewngofnodi i BeeBase a gwneud nodyn o gyfanswm nifer y nythfeydd a fydd gennych dros y gaeaf o 1 Tachwedd 2022. Mae'r dasg hon yn un syml a byr, cliciwch yma, mewngofnodwch a chwblhewch y ffurflen. Hyd yn oed os nad oes gennych nythfeydd sy'n gaeafu y tymor hwn, mae'n dal yn bwysig eich bod yn diweddaru eich cofnod BeeBase i gadarnhau hynny. Bydd yr arolwg hwn yn para tan 31 Rhagfyr 2022.

    I gael rhagor o wybodaeth am y Cyfrif Cychod Gwenyn cliciwch yma.
  • Credible sighting of a single Asian hornet in Dover, Kent
    06 October 2022
    National Bee Unit inspectors carried out enhanced surveillance in Dover after a member of the public took a clear photo of an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) before it flew away.  No further insects were seen.

    Local Asian Hornet Teams have been alerted and are continuing to observe forage and monitor insects in the area.

    The National Bee Unit is encouraging beekeepers and the public to remain vigilant, especially near ivy in full flower which is particularly attractive to Vespa velutina.

    Please report sightings of Vespa velutina using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for iPhone and Android, or the online reporting form. Please direct all media enquires to Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560
  • Asian hornet confirmed in the Rayleigh area of Essex
    28 September 2022
    A local Asian Hornet Team member in the Rayleigh area of Essex captured three hornets and reported this using the Asian Hornet Watch app. National Bee Unit inspectors were  dispatched to the location to carry out enhanced surveillance and the hornets were confirmed as Asian hornet (Vespa velutina).

    An Asian hornet nest in a sycamore tree was killed in the Rayleigh area of Essex on Friday the 30th September and removed the following day.  Monitoring will continue in the area supported by local beekeepers.

    The ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ app is free to download from the Apple and  Android app stores.

    Further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet page of BeeBase and on Defra's news page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560.