We feed all our colonies at this time of year with fondant. The fondant is wrapped in cling film with an exposed surface placed over hole in the crown board. This keeps the fondant fresh and prevents it drying out whilst enabling easy inspection to check that the status. The attached picture taken yesterday clearly shows this.
Archive for the ‘Association Apiary News’ Category
Down at the Apiary yesterday the place looked at its best.
We are still feeding some of the hives and the bees are taking full advantage of the excellent weather with all entrances very active.
One of the hives had a high Nosema count when we tested all the colonies during the Apiary close down day so we have been feeding it Thymol in sugar syrup as an alternative to Fumidil B. The bees know there is something different (smell for one thing) so are not taking it as fast as previous feeds. The recipe we used comprised:
Dissolve 30g Thymol crystals in 150ml of alcohol to make stock solution (surgical spirit works).
Use 10ml of this stock solution in 4.5 litres (1gallon) of syrup.
The stock solution keeps ok if well sealed, otherwise the alcohol evaporates.
It will be interesting to see if this has an effect.
There is just one colony job to do before winter and that is unite the two colonies on stand 2, one is weak with lots of drawn brood comb and the other is strong but has not drawn out more than 5 frames of brood, uniting should produce a colony that will se the winter out.
A couple of pictures from the Honey Show. There were well over 100 entries!
Over the weekend we took a call from a person who during the summer had a swarm take up residence in his electricity meter box.
The electricity company owed him some money so he needed to take a reading but as you can see the meter was covered in comb.
Although late in the season we removed the colony, housed it in make shift frames in a Nuc box and currently it is located next to another nucleus so that once established on proper frames the two colonies will be united before winter sets in.
The size of the colony is much smaller than the amount of comb indicates it should be, the assumption is that the swarm had swarmed again once it became too big for the box, leaving this small but friendly colony.
The attached photo shows a hive stacked too high for a normal beekeepers back. The top super weighed in at over 40 lb, was propolised and brace combed to the super below, so working at eye level was hard enough for a pair of beekeepers.
At the Association apiary our stands are at a variety of heights so as to give new beekeepers different experiences as part of their own apiary planning, however the rule of thumb is that the height of the stand should be such that the top of the brood box is at knuckle height. If we had followed this rule for this hive life would have been easier!