All of my bee colonies have overwintered successfully, so once again I will be selling my surplus honey bee colonies this year.
The colonies are naturally occurring swarms from my own colonies, that I will have housed on clean foundation, fed, and brought on until they are ready to be sold.
The advantages of this system are that you get the hygiene, vigour, and correct composition of a natural swarm, but with the advantage of traceability. Knowing where they have come from, and their disease status. Something that is missing with a swarm from an unknown colony.
I think that this is a good way of producing bee colonies. It’s much more natural, less intrusive, and works well for me.
To find out more about my bees, and how I manage them, take a look around the blog, and judge for yourself.
If you are interested in buying honey bees this year, give me a ring on 01507 588543.
The mild weather has allowed my bees to get out and forage, which is useful, as they are light on food. The colonies did not build up well, due to the lack of forage during the Summer, and I was late to start feeding. Having removed the feeders last week, with not enough food being taken down, I had hoped that the bees would bring some Ivy nectar, but that has not been the case. The future for my late season forage is shown below.
It’s been a while since my last post about bees, and wasps, but that’s because things have been going well. My last post on the subject, Wasps, Bees, and doing nothing, told about the problems that I was having. That particular hive was not coping well, and so I opened it up, to find a tiny number of bees, with a queen, but no brood, and only on frame that had been filled with comb. Again, it was a hive that had somehow failed to build up that was struggling.
It might seem a bit premature to be thinking about Summer bee forage, but when growing from seed, if it’s not planted now, then it may not flower in time. Now I know that it’s possible to grow annuals, from seed, for flowering in Summer, but I prefer to grow perennial plants. That way, the number of bee plants increase each year, rather than remain static. In line with permaculture principles, I also want to grow plants that have more than one function. I realise that you can include looks, and scent, as functions, and I do, but why stop there?
Another five weeks have elapsed since my last post, but with the days shortening, I once again find myself with time to share with you. Things are still busy, with the end of the beekeeping and vegetable growing season, and the start of the tree planting and wood harvesting season overlapping. Before I start posting on what I’m up to now, I thought that I would post a quick round up of what I’ve been busy with over the past few weeks.