Last summer one of our colonies grew quite large to an extent that we provided it with a second brood box. Whilst this gave extra space for the queen to lay the second box was predominately used by the colony for stores. This was useful over the winter as it provided a good supply of food.
The colony is now (in April) expanding rapidly but we are concerned that the queen does not have much room to lay as both boxes still have a high percentage of stores and her laying is spread out over both boxes.
So we are wondering if it might be prudent to remove a number of frames that are mainly made up of stores and replace them with new frames and foundation.
We are also wondering that if we did this whether there would also be some merit in temporarily restricting the queen to one brood box. We are also giving some consideration to acquiring another queen and using some of the brood from the existing hive to establish a new colony whilst easing the crowding in the existing hive.
Sounds like a good question. You don’t mention supers. I would be tempted to:
Take out half the brood frames that only have nectar & honey and place them in another brood box that goes on top of an empty box above the crown board. Hopefully they will think this is outside their nest, rob it and store it elsewhere leaving you with drawn brood comb – a valuable asset.
Immediately below the crown board I’d have space for honey. SBs with foundation or drawn comb and of course the Qx below that.
Now for the brood boxes. I’d keep this as a double BB for now. There will be vacant spaces where the brood frames containing honey came out. Assuming the colony is large I would place new foundation every third or even every other brood frame. A strong colony will quickly draw this out giving the q somewhere to lay. I wouldn’t worry about breaking up the brood nest.
SBKA received a lovely thank you after visiting Nether Green Infant School:
We regularly make school visits to talk about the work of pollinators and depending on the time of year we can bring along an observation hive which shows the different types of bees on the comb. We can also bring honey, bee suits, and candle making kits for activities.
If you’re interested in a beekeeper visit at your school, get in touch with Steve at SBKA.
We checked the colonies where we’d found two queens and moved one to a queenless hive: The original hive was left with the new queen and this was doing very well with lots of eggs and brood at all stages. The mother queen (Queen Mother?) had been placed in an introduction cage in a queenless colony. She was now out and walking around quite confidently – BUT no eggs. We were hoping that she might still be laying and might produce enough for her new family to utilise in making queen cells. Sadly it seems she has has stopped laying altogether. We’ll give it another few days and then unite the colony with another…
We had yet another successful honey show at our Norfolk Park venue over the Bank Holiday weekend 26-27 August. With 116 entries we achieved Blue Ribbon status – which we have managed for the last 4 years or more.
Competition was hot but it could have been fiercer. With only 16 entrants some prizes went to sole entries! All entries are a celebration of beekeeping effort and it contributes enormously to the SBKA community spirit when we have more entrants. You don’t have to wait until you have the faultless entry of course – see the magnificence of the carrot entry below.
Congratulations to all 15 candidates who recently took their Basic Assessment. All were successful receiving either a pass or a credit. I will contact you when certificates and badges are available. The next Basic Assessments will take place in Summer 2019.
The closing date for the next Module Exams is 30th September 2018. Exams will take place on 10th November at a local venue (tbc). If anyone is considering sitting an exam this Autumn please download your application forms here and return to Nicky Hine by the end of this month. I need either your original application or a good quality scan. (FYI 23rd March 2019 is the following exam date).
BBKA offer correspondence courses which currently cost £60 however SBKA is offering to pay this fee if you form a study group of 4 or more members. Please register your interest by filling in the form on our website. You don’t have to sit the exam to join a study group – you could just take the course out of interest. Our Library compliments these courses and offers appropriate specialist texts.
LIST OF CORRESPONDENCE COURSES:
1 – Honey bee Management
2 – Honey bee Products and Forage
3 – Honey bee Pests, Diseases and Poisoning
5 – Honey bee Biology
6 – Honey bee Behaviour
7 – Selection & Breeding of Honey bees
8 – Honey bee Management, Health and History
We all enjoyed the association barbecue held 19 August with more than 30 people taking part (and some of them were vegetarians). Many thanks to Peter for organising it so efficiently and making sure we all had plenty to eat. Many thanks to Ron for making sure our sausages weren’t burnt to a cinder and many thanks to all who brought food to share.
The highlight for many was the spectacular auction that took place before the food was dished up. Members were able to purchase outstanding equipment at rock bottom prices – brood boxes for as little as 3 for £5, crown boards for £1, floors for £5. Not only did purchasers get amazing bargains, we helped a member raise over £300 for St Luke’s Hospice and we made space in our lock up whilst raising over £250 to bolster the Association coffers. It looks like we’ll have to make the auction a regular feature of the barbecue.