The aim of the “Beekeeping Blog” is to give tips about what we should be doing at different times during the year in East Lancashire.
The Local Village Beekeepers’ November Blog
Honey has been extracted, varroa treatments have been done, honey shows are over and the bees are all tucked up for winter.
In theory, I should be able to put my feet up and relax for a few weeks. But I was caught out a couple of weeks ago by a freak wind which blew over two of my hives, leaving boxes and bees spread over the floor of the apiary. The wasps were having a field day and the bees were mad to say the least. I managed to put everything back together and as far as I can tell the bees are ok, but they held it against me for several days, coming out to greet me whenever I went round to check them.
Unfortunately, very little of their winter stores were left, so I’ve started emergency feeding them. It was too late in the year to give them a thick syrup so I’ve put fondant on to keep them going over the winter.
The wasps are still being a bit of a nuisance, but the bees are defending the entrances well and wasp traps are still in place. Another autumn which is warmer than normal and the bees are still flying when it’s fine and there are still some flowers available for them to forage on, with some pollen still being brought in. Our beekeeping season seems to be getting longer each year and although I’m not going into the colonies now it wouldn’t surprise me if the queens’ are still laying.
All this activity means the bees are likely to be using their winter stores, so as a precaution all my colonies have had fondant put on which I’ll monitor over the next week or so. If they don’t want it they won’t take it, but it means feeders and ekes are in place if I need to do some serious emergency feeding over the winter.
I’ve a few boxes to clean up and some beeswax to extract, but otherwise most of the work is done for the year, all that remains is to keep the entrances clear, the apiary tidy, the food topped up, read up on my BBKA mags and enjoy the break.
Our club programme for 2017 is on the website.