Feeding Bees in Winter

I did a quick feed check on all hives in between Christmas and New Year. It was good to see that in most hives the bees were quite far down, which is good. I placed a block of fondant directly on top of the brood frames as a safety precaution. The end of January into February and March is the crucial time. The queen will gradually increase her laying and more food will be consumed to increase the temperature in the hive. This is often the time of year when colonies starve. This whole operation took less than 1 minute. It is important to be quick and not let the bees chill.

Enid

Bees in a Cavity Wall

As lockdown eased, a team of beekeepers (Enid Brown, Margaret Thomas and Jo Ramsay) removed a massive colony of bees from a cavity at a dwelling in Lethangie. A stethoscope was used to locate the exact position of the bees.  A handheld circular saw and a hive tool helped to remove the plasterboard so that the bees and comb could be reached. The bee comb was placed into a nuc box, the bees were hoovered up and all of the comb was removed … a very sticky job. The bees are now doing well in their new location.

Learning in Lockdown

Even though lockdown has made it difficult to learn about bee keeping this hasn’t stopped the children of St Leonards School, St Andrews from using MS Teams to watch one of our association beekeepers installing a nuc in the school apiary. While FBA beekeeper Jo Goodburn handled the bees the P6 school teacher gave a commentary in the classroom as the children watched via a live feed.