Its continued to be a very busy February into March as things start to spring up and bees start to do their business preparing for the new season – well that’s what they are supposed to be doing!
The high winds associated with Storm Ciara and Dennis and now Storm Jorge have kept us on our toes. I thought my hives had survived well through the first storm as my quick circuit round found all the polyhives standing until the next day when the local tree feller I met said he had put the hive tops back on for me! Oh dear I thought that’s must have seen some of the bees off – but not – they had all survived – even the one at Cromwell lock which had a wooden national roof blown off manged to huddle together and keep going as they must have been exposed for over 24 hours - we will see if the chill factor has caused any harm over the next few months.
I lashed all the roofs down with straps preparing for the next storm – which had no roofs missing at the end of that one. At the start of Storm Dennis I managed to get upto Cromwell lock with gale force winds to see if the hive was still standing and with an inch of water already flooding the site the hive was still upright. The water level rose beyond the expected 5 inches on the River Trent with the water level upto the hive entrance and the entire island they were on was completely submerged. But the bees survived and were happily munching away at fondant and a pollen patty. I had a few empties at Cromwell lock one of which got blown over and must have been submerged as the frames inside were full of silt. It was on the edge of the receded Trent and thankfully did not get swept away.
So far we have survived the first two storms with a few mishaps and I fully expect the next one to be survivable. We will see over the weekend.
I have been updating the website with back editions of Beemaster and have now added the Linda and Maurice Jordan movie “Our Year in Beekeeping”. It was filmed over 2012/13 but the techniques and storyline is the same no matter how you keep bees. There is more to update as we have now gone onto the Weebly pro edition which gives more memory and storage space. Its surprising how often the contacts page is used making enquiries about courses and various beekeeping queries. I am endeavouring to make the website somewhere that members will actually want to visit as I hear that it is often ignored as a source point of information by members.
The beginner’s course at Newark has started with 25 newbies and with the new price structure the NBKA will get a nice financial boost. I understand the Nottingham Course at 50 newbies will provide even more to the annual coffers. We need to plan out how we are going to use any excess over income perhaps in new projects.
The following events are always good for that item you have always wanted but was too expensive from Thornes.
Beetradex on 14th March 2020 at Hall H2 Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire
Lincoln Association Auction on 21st March 2020 at the Lincolnshire Showground
Nottinghamshire Association Auction on 28th March 2020 at the Newark Showground
Peterborough and District Auction on the 20th April 2020 at Sacrewell Farm
Always invest in equipment as you will always have it – Bees are transitory!
A winter update from the National Bee Unit has reminded all beekeepers that with bad weather conditions affecting much of the UK we should check our colonies for stores, pest damage, Varroa mite count and damp presence and act on anything that needs to be sorted.