Category Archives: Things to do in July

Queen Rearing Timeline

It always seems to take an eternity for these new queens to get laying and the spectre of queenlessness and laying workers rears its ugly head. But when you sit down and actually work it out it, it’s often your expectations that are out of whack.

Remember she matures for 4 days after she emerges then even if she goes straight out and mates she won’t start to lay for another 4 or more days after that. So don’t waste your time looking for eggs till she’s 2-3 weeks old because if she’s not laying before then there’s nothing you can do about it anyway except gnash your teeth.

Have a look at this diagram instead – it’ll help keep your expectations on track.

Click it for a bigger version.Queen Rearing Timeline

Or click the thumbnail below for a queenrearing timeline for Jenter kit with a Cloake board system

Timetable for jenter kit with Cloake board system

Click here for How to set up your Apidea

Click here for a Queen Rearing Timetable for Jenter kit or grafting with Cloake board cell raiser.

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Bees and Honey with a Scale Hive

A scale hive (or hive scale)  is a beehive set on a weighing scales so you can observe the daily change in weight.

Usually this means constructing a special stand which will accommodate the scales upside-down over a series of mirrors set like a periscope so the daily change of weight can be read from above. If you are manually inept or technologically minded or both, it is possible to buy a special solar-powered, digital scale hive which will allow you to monitor your bees from a distance – probably via a satellite – the mind boggles! Continue reading Bees and Honey with a Scale Hive

Honey and Blackcurrant Wine Recipe

Mead flavoured with fruit is known as Melomel. I’ve got 6 blackcurrant bushes in my garden; I planted them in 2004 as cuttings. Each year now, in July I make between 10 and 30 gallons of wine from the currants they give me. Instead of sugar I use some horrible honey I bought in haste – I’m drinking my mistake. If you’re out there Frank – you know who you are – cheers!

If you have a wine hydrometer, you won’t need me to tell you how to use it and you can be more precise about how much honey you want to add.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3lb blackcurrants
  • 3.5lb honey
  • 1 gallon water
  • Red wine yeast and nutrient
  • Pectic enzyme

 Method

  • Mash the fruit in food grade plastic bucket. Do not use metal – I use a plastic bottle full of water as a pestle;
  • Boil honey and water in a large pan, remove scum and pour still boiling over the fruit;
  • Cover with a cloth;
  • When cooled to blood heat add pectic enzyme as per instructions on container and leave for a day;
  • Next day add the wine yeast and yeast nutrient, stir and cover;
  • Keep covered in a warm place, stirring once per day, for 5 days;
  • Strain into a demi-john, fit airlock and leave till it stops fermenting and wine clears;
  • Syphon off sediment into a clean jar;
  • Drink it.

Cheers!

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