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.
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.
Just before lockdown in March this year, several of our members attended the SBA wax workshop in Newburgh. As you can see from the photos, they all had a great day making foundation, moulded candles, wax flowers, fruit and vegetables.
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.
The Dunfermline and Fife beekeepers attended the annual Kinross Agricultural Show on Saturday 13th August 2016. We arrived on the Friday morning to set up our marquee but were met by strong and blustery winds which made it impossible to set up the stall and safely leave it overnight. However, the forecast for show-day was good and we were not disappointed when we returned early on the Saturday morning. Our dedicated team under Enid’s direction soon set to and we had everything in place with 2 well stocked observation hives. The show was a great success with many visitors to our stall. We were kept busy all day answering enquiries and explaining the work of the Fife and West Fife associations. The 2 observation hives attracted a lot of interest and a model comb set up as a jigsaw with parts to represent what is seen on the comb was a favourite with visiting children and their parents. At the end of the show we were delighted to be presented with a certificate and bottle of wine for the ‘best small trade stand’ exhibit.
Thanks to Enid for supplying all the materials and observation hives and to our helpers Liz, Sheila, John, Jeff, Janice, Kay and Bob. ……………..