Friday, 15 June 2007

Bee Day!

Alan & I took advantage of a break in the rain to transfer the nuclei into the hives. With the bees subdued by a smoker the transfer went with military precision (Alan being an ex Marine Commando) and the transfer boxes were left beside the corresponding hives so the bees could clean them and evacuate in their own good time. The bees will now be left to their own devices for a week or so before they are routinely inspected for anything un-toward.
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Thursday, 14 June 2007

A very happy Alan!

Alan & I took the travel boxes and placed them on the prepared bases and let the bees out. They will stay in the travel boxes until the weather improves and they can be secured in their final positions in the hive. The hive you see at the far end has been in place for a few weeks and has been colonised by 'wild' bees. We will have to decide whether to destroy them as a varroa risk or wait until numbers increase and then test them for the mite by method described by Ian Molyneux.
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Bee nuclei delivery!

While I was at the 'Varroa' meeting on Tuesday Alan was taking delivery of 4 bee nuclei aquired from Mr Hebron from Hoy Lake. The mated & laying queens come escorted by workers to feed and look after her and then the frames in the travel box are transferred to the hives after a day to settle and orientate themselves. Lytham Hall Apiary is officially back in business!
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Regional Bee Inspector

Here is a photo of Ian Molyneux who is the Northern Regional Bee Inspector. He was invited to do a talk for the Blackpool Bee Keeping Association on managing the Varroa mite at Poulton Methodist Church on Tuesday and as it was Varroa that decimated the Lytham Hall bee stocks last winter I thought it a good idea to attend to attend. Ian gave an excellent talk and was full of useful advice on how good husbandry and monitoring of the mites can reduce infestation. Monitoring levels of varroa along with relevant treatment can help to keep colonies trouble-free particularly as chemicals traditionally used to eradicate the mite ie Apistan, Apiguard & Bayvarol, are largely ineffective due to mites having now developed resistance.
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Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A closer look

The hive renovation has paid dividends at last and if you refer back to March postings you will see the 'before' picture! There is still plenty to do on that front but I feel we have made quite a stride forward. The hives will sit quite happily on flags but I decided to edge them with some decking offcuts I was kindly given. This I thought should make it easier to trim back the foliage when the time comes and I also think they look quite smart.
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Tucked away off the main lawn...

Just a picture to orientate you as to where the hives now sit...(main lawn to the right).
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Estate Manager Paul & Alan

A new position for the hives has been agreed in a beautiful spot just off the main lawn. Paul, (who does a wonderful job managing the 78 acres of grounds along with maintenance man John) has very kindly mown a perfectly shaped swathe from the briar and shrubbery where the hives will sit perfectly. The photo shows Paul & Alan with Alan's Jeep that he has owned for 25 years talking some serious bee business!
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