August is a wicked month and the bees are at their very worst: the major summer flows have dried up and the ivy is weeks away. The bees will beg, borrow or steal to build themselves up for winter.
Of course neither begging nor borrowing is open to them but they know how to steal!
Once robbing has started it is very difficult to stop so the best thing to do is try and prevent it from starting.
Here’s how: Continue reading How to Stop Robbing Bees or Wasps
Himalayan balsam or Impatiens glandulifera originates in the Himalayas – surprise surprise. It was introduced to Europe as a garden plant but it quickly escaped the confines of the garden and joined the ranks of ‘Invasive Pests’. Other such plant species include Japanese knotweed, Giant hogweed, Sycamore or Acer pseudoplatanus and Trifids. Continue reading Himalayan Balsam or Impatiens glandulifera
If you’re looking at taking your honey off you’ll be looking at clearing the bees. If you’re in a hurry and you like a fight you can always shake them or brush them off the frames. Or if you are Gadget Man and don’t care about young bees being blown all over the landscape you can get yourself a bee blower. But if you favour something slower, more gentle and less brutal you’re looking at a clearer board. Continue reading Porter Bee Escape
Here’s an interesting one…
One of my apiary sites is in a nature reserve on a small raised bog in Kildare. The clover and blackberry are in full bloom all around the fringes there so I expected to find the bees with brown or grey pollen loads. However, I was surprised to find them bringing in a lot of vivid orange pollen and no, that’s not propolis. Of course I’d come out without my camera so had to make do with my phone and these pictures don’t do the colour justice. Click photos to enlarge. Continue reading Poplar leaf rust spores?
Hiving a swarm is usually a trouble-free operation but it can all go horribly wrong. Here are a few points to consider which may affect the success of the operation: Continue reading Hiving a Swarm
The no-frills method to hive a swarm is also known as the Brutal way. Here’s how it’s done… Continue reading How to hive a swarm: the No Frills Way
There are several ways to hive a swarm. Here’s how to do it the traditional way with a ramp and a sheet. It’s probably the slowest method but well worth doing at least once for the spectacle! Continue reading How to hive a swarm: the Pretty Way
Here’s the quickest, easiest way to hive a swarm from Master Beekeeper Jim Donohoe… Continue reading How to hive a swarm: the Easy Way
Your first swarm is something you never forget…
It was our first year as beekeepers. We’d done the course, joined the local association then, come spring, we bought two nucs. Continue reading First Swarm
An annual quandry for beekeepers is – what to do with all those queenless Apideas at the end of the queen-rearing season.
Most advice is to set the Apidea over a nuc and unite the two but this often comes to one sort of sticky end or another and is less viable when you have a number of them.
Here’s a neat alternative: Continue reading What to do with queenless Apideas