Wednesday, 28 March 2007

On the brighter side...

...the rhododendrons in the hall grounds are bursting into flower as Spring is upon us!
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A 'mite' closer!

I thought I'd blow up the picture as I managed to work out how to do it. Actually, while I'm at it I'll confess I'm a new blogger and a new bee keeper so apologies for any inaccuracies in advance...
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X rated

This picture should be X rated for any bee keeper of nervous disposition - dead bees and if you look VERY carefully you can see the mites themselves. They are chestnut brown and you can see them in the lower left quarter of the picture.
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The hive floor is like a bomb site! Dead bees and fragments of comb left by mice that have taken their opportunity to add a little sweetness to their diets in the form of (our!) honey.
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Hive collapse

The deadly parasitic Varroa mite that lives on bees and has decimated UK bee stocks since 1991 has struck again, this time at our own apiary. The last remaining hive succumbed a couple of days ago, particularly disappointing as we had identified the colonies' queen recently and had high hopes the colony would survive.
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Double Trouble

The old bee hives are in need of some much needed TLC but first some sad news...
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Shhh...Bees at work!

The bee hives are through this door leading from Monks Walk outside the west wing of the hall.
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Another one of the Hall...

I thought I'd post another picture of the hall as I'n not sure the previous does it justice.
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Sunday, 25 March 2007

Better days...

Lytham Hall Apiary has seen better days. Local historian and Head Beekeeper Mr Alan Ashton has had both hip and knee replacement surgery in the last 12 months and has not spent as much time as he would like at the apiary. Although Alan is now firmly on the mend, a combination of inclement weather and the deadly Varroa mite have weakened bee stocks enormously.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

The Georgian splendour of Lytham Hall...

The Apiary is in the grounds of the wonderful Lytham Hall which is without doubt the finest Georgian building in Lancashire. The hall is open to the public several days a year and is particularly famed for it's 'snowdrop' walks in early Spring.
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