Category Archives: Equipment

Christmas – Bees and Wintering

Christmas is one of the four quarter days which mark the changing of the seasons.

The four quarter days are:

  • Lady day or the Feast of the Annunciation 25th March;
  • Midsummer’s day around 25th June;
  • Michaelmas 29th September;
  • Christmas 25th December – lest we forget – fat chance.

They all approximately coincide with either an equinox or a solstice.

Continue reading Christmas – Bees and Wintering

Isle of Man Horse Power

If, like me, you went to the recent BIBBA conference on the Isle of Man you must also have noticed the horse drawn trams but did you know they too are threatened with extinction?

Kewin brings in the No.65 Douglas Horse Tram
Magnificent Kewin brings in the No.65 Douglas Horse Tram (http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk)

Manx Horse Power

Personally I was charmed and delighted by these lovely Clydesdales trotting along the promenade on hairy great feet with their ears all pricked and eager. In fact I was so charmed and delighted by them I looked them up on the Blithering Internet when I got home and was incredulous to discover that the Powers-That-Be in Douglas are planning to scrap them!

Click the photo above for a close up and ask yourself how on earth can that be? Continue reading Isle of Man Horse Power

Useful Arnia Hive Scale Data

At this time of the year (spring) remote hive monitoring really comes into its own. I have an Arnia Hive Scale at one of my apiaries and it gives me a good idea what is happening not only in the monitored hive but also a rough idea of what is happening over there.

Since I installed it 2 months ago, apart from a sudden vertical jump when I put a super on to accommodate the growing population, it had been recording a steady decrease in weight but for the last 3 days it began to register an increase!

Here, have a look at this… Continue reading Useful Arnia Hive Scale Data

Arnia Remote Hive Monitors – Installing

After you have fired up your Gateway and Monitors and made sure they are communicating with each other and with the Mother Ship as per the previous article – the very first step is to make sure you have a mobile signal at your intended apiary. If you don’t check this, your carefully assembled set-up may have to be carefully disassembled. Continue reading Arnia Remote Hive Monitors – Installing

Arnia Remote Hive Monitors – Set Up

An Arnia hive monitoring kit, even at its simplest, consists of several components. The first thing you must do, before you take it to your bees, is fire it up and make sure  all the constituent parts are working and that they are speaking to each other.

The set up isn’t difficult, the detailed instructions are clearly written in the User Manual but you wouldn’t want to do it out there in the weather with outraged bees. So here’s what you do. By the way – click any of these photos for a close up: Continue reading Arnia Remote Hive Monitors – Set Up

How much does it cost to start beekeeping?

This question comes up quite often on our Beekeeping Course and it’s quite difficult to answer without making a list. There is much more choice of equipment available now with bargains to be had, but even then – it’s not cheap so be warned.

However something else to throw into the equation is that if you do take up beekeeping there should eventually be a payback in terms of honey which you can then either consume yourself or you can sell it. So an interesting way to consider the cost of starting up beekeeping is in jars of honey instead of euro.

The results of this exercise for 2009 and 2016 are shown in the table below where: Continue reading How much does it cost to start beekeeping?