Category: Beekeeping

Queen Cells 3

Queen Bee Selection – Do the Bees Know Best?

I’ve been thinking recently about queen selection within the honey bee colony. Ideally, if we are selecting a queen to rule a strong, healthy, productive colony we want one with characteristics such as high fecundity, disease resistance, longevity and one that raises bees with a good temperament. The perceived wisdom when re-queening following an artificial...

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Hives in the garden 2

Bank Holiday Beekeeping – Culling a Queen.

Bank Holiday Monday proved to be perfect weather for beekeeping. Fortunate really as we needed to check on the status of our bees following the recent manipulations. It was sunny, warm(ish) at around 16°C and not too windy. First on the list were the two hives in the apiary at the bottom of the garden....

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New Apiary 4

Making Increase

Our priority this year with beekeeping is what beekeepers term ‘making increase’ that is to say we want to end the year with more colonies than we started so priorities are focussed more on splitting hives, rearing queens and increasing the number of bees we have rather than on honey production. Plans are afoot With...

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Bees 2

Time for a Swarm?

Just a quick update on our bees now that Summer is on it’s way. We currently have two colonies, Leri and Clettwr and both seem to have made it through the winter. Our plan this year – if you can make ‘plans’ when beekeeping is to make increase. That’s to say we want to split...

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Tea and Cakes with the Beekeepers 0

Tea and Cakes with the Beekeepers

Sunday afternoon was supposed to be a Beekeepers Meeting with the Aberystwyth Beekeepers where we had planned to take a look through Ann’s hives. Unfortunately the weather was in a particularly uncooperative mood. My day started with an easy swim in Machynlleth. I couldn’t do my usual run as my sciatica is still a little sore, so...

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Nesting Holes 3

Building a Bee Hotel

I’m not really sure what brought it on but late on Sunday afternoon I suddenly had the urge to build a bee hotel. We’d already inspected our honey bees during which Moirgan was stung by one, but I persuaded him to come out into the garden again to help. It had warmed up a little now,...

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Asian Hornet Alert Poster 0

Asian Hornet – Another warning from FERA

Thought I’d share this warning from FERA with everyone as I guess it isn’t just beekeepers who could keep an eye out for them and report any sightings. As many of you know, the Asian hornet, Vespa velutina, is a predator of honey bees and other beneficial insects. It has recently extended its geographical range from...

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More Than Honey

We all went to the National Library last night to watch a private showing of the film ‘More Than Honey’ with the Aberystwyth Beekeepers Association. Not only was it a pleasant evening with our fellow beekeepers, but the film itself was amazing. It’s a documentary providing an in-depth look at honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland,...

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Anna Extracting Wax 0

Wax Extraction

It was far too wet and miserable last weekend for any proper beekeeping, but we did manage some – or rather, Anna did. We hired the steam wax extractor from ABKA and extracted all of the old, dark brown wax from old frames that we had lying around. It’s a fairly mucky job but the...

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Full Pollen Sacs 2

Spring in the Beehive

With temperatures ‘soaring’ to 19.3ºC at the weekend it was a perfect opportunity to take another look at the bees and carry out a hive inspection. Pollen We had no real reason for doing so other than the fact that we are itching to get started with some proper beekeeping this year. The hives were...

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Sterlising Bee Hives 1

A Typical Sunday – Hill Reps, Mile Runs, Sterilising Beekeeping Hardware, Cars, Cakes and Curries

We had quite a productive day on Sunday. It started with my usual run and swim, but this week I did it in Aberystwyth as the pool in Machynlleth was being used for the Dyfi Dash. We had to be in Aberystwyth for 11:30am anyway for the Sport Relief Mile with the Scouts so the...

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