Sunday, 27 October 2013

Final final checklist/varroa count

Yes this is it.  Looking at today/tomorrow weather forecast I see that, surprisingly!, the pollen count is LOW. Heavy bricks on hive roofs as a precaution against the threatened hurricanes.
All feeders removed now and Porter escapes replaced.  The amounts taken of sugar syrup range from 14kg(Red ) to 8kg(Yellow).
Apiguard 2nd tray and eke removed from all. Made note of product name/supplier/date applied/batch no.
Time for a final varroa count.
The Silver colony have 9 mites over 28days.
Red, Yellow, Blue, Miniblue have 0 mites!  QB got a second opinion - couldn't believe her own eyes!
Replaced varroa tray to reduce chill and strong draughts.
Check insulation is adequate.
Check (regularly) underside of roof is dry. (If not exchange for spare dry and put damp roof in warm place)

Final jobs : to lift broodbox and super above a dry empty super to give them cluster space.
                : secure mouseguards.
We're going into 2014 with 2 young red-marked queens (Silver & Miniblue);  2 (2011) white-marked
queens (Yellow & Blue);  1 (2010) blue-marked queen (Red colony) - although I'm hoping they successfully
reared a young queen from the healthy queen cells I found in August.  Time will tell.

Next - still got things to prepare for next year and for Mickley Garden Centre (actually Tyne Valley GC) Christmas Fare 16/17th Nov.
Keep Happy QB

Saturday, 19 October 2013

These Black Northern Bees !!

Thursday : 12C and honey bees are foraging around our garden.
These 'black' bees are so hardy!

 There are still a feww varieties of flowers to tempt them out of their warm combs.
Rudbeckia (Goldsturm) will flower up to the first heavy frost.
These are NOT the bees first choice.

Globe thistles are looking tired but still have some nectar (and pollen) to offer.
Biggest surprise to me is the popularity of these clumps of garlic chives in the vegetable garden - positively buzzing - though naturally by the time the shot was lined up only one was still around! Typical!

If you have amazing eyesight you will see the bees flying in and out of the hives.  This is around midday and the sun is low in the sky.
Not much chance of these blackberries ripening this side of Christmas!!