Category Archives: Bee Basics

How to Stop Robbing Bees or Wasps

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

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

Porter Bee Escape

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

Poplar leaf rust spores?

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?

What to do with queenless Apideas

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