West Craigie Apiary May 2016

West Craigie Apiary     May 2016

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Our apiary site is now looking good thanks to all the volunteers hard work; the first full inspection of all hive colonies has taken place. A new queen bee was found in Anna & Elsa marked and wings clipped, other hives have evidence of a queen laying. The strength of the colonies is not great but at least they have survived the winter. In general neighbouring bee keepers colonies have died off due to the poor end to autumn last year and the recent poor weather.

This month we will be encouraging all our bee colonies to expand in numbers, which will involve first ensuring each hive has a strong queen, then keeping a watch on the egg laying and brood within the frames. As well as double brood boxes per hive we have also placed on the first honey super to encourage bee storage and hopefully surplus for us to remove.

Traditionally the end of May is the start of the bee swarming season; this is the natural instinct of the bees to propagate the species by division, commonly called swarming. Hopefully we will be able to stop our hives from splitting by removing new queen cells and starting new young colonies.

We now have a functioning solar wax extractor where surplus wax, cappings, propolis from old frames can be melted down and bees wax collected.

We will still meet every Sunday and Monday afternoons, there are ample bee suits for all, to take part in the hive manipulations.