Bee-Ware in Winter!

1/17/2017 04:49:00 pm 0 Comments

After closing down the hives for winter in November we've been back to see how the bees are doing. Both hives have survived well so far, having been left with almost an entire super of honey per hive at the end of Autumn. These supers still have a good amount of honey left so we currently have no need to feed the bees with any sugar fondant this winter. This may change if the weather takes a turn for the worst and the bees require more to keep warm. Chris' hives are also still doing well, but due to their late introduction to the farm in 2016 they are being fed with sugar fondant.

We have a new addition to our apiary in the form of a 'National' hive containing a colony of bees. The bees and hive have been donated by a local supporter who no longer had time to look after them as regularly as she would like. After testing to ensure there was no EFB present (European Foul Brood - a common colony disease) we have taken them on and relocated them to Honeydale Farm a few weeks ago. They weren't very happy about being transported however. It turns out that spending half an hour being rattled around on Cotswold B roads in the back of a truck isn't the way to a bee's heart! Despite careful driving they were quite angry on arrival at Honeydale. One managed to escape when we were moving the hive and it made a beeline for Paul’s hand, delivering a rather painful sting. Apparently it is thought that bee stings can be much more painful during the winter months which he can personally vouch for! Having been stung numerous times on the hand in the past he had never experienced a bee sting like this one! We are hoping that we can nurse the colony through the winter successfully and we have added sugar fondant to the hive to give them the best chance possible. Come the spring we plan to transfer the bees to a clean brood box and a new set of brood frames. If the bees are still aggressive in the Spring then we may have to re-queen the colony to help improve it's temperament.


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