Supering

Something short and sweet this week … though perhaps ‘tall and sweet’ would be preferable as I’m going to discuss supering. The noun supering means ‘the action or practice of fitting a super to a beehive’ and dates back to 1840: Duncan, James. Natural History of Bees Naturalist’s Library VoI. 223   The empty story which is added, […]

First impressions

There’s always a slight feeling of trepidation when I lift a roof for the first hive inspection of the season. What’s in the box? Is the colony going to be thriving or just hanging on? I know they’ve got sufficient stores and that the bees have been flying on good days, but that’s not the […]

Midwinter chores

I was going to title this post ‘Midwinter madness’ until I realised that there’s nothing I could write about related to beekeeping that could compare with current political events. So, it’s Midwinter chores instead … We’ve had a week or more of low temperatures with intermittent light snow, freezing rain and bright sunshine. During the latter I’ve escaped to […]

Queens and amitraz residues in wax

A question following a recent evening talk to a beekeeping association prompted me to look back at the literature on amitraz and wax residues. The question was about reuse of honey supers that were present on a colony during miticide treatment. With the exception of MAQS, there are no approved miticides that should be used […]

Eating my words

I periodically look at the access statistics of this site. It gives me an idea of what’s popular, which subjects might be worth revisiting and which posts have sunk without trace into bottomless void of the internet. Daily page views are only 50% what they were in June. Maybe it’s the chaos/excitement/disappointment (delete as appropriate) […]

Weed and feed

Weed and feed is a generic term that describes the treatment of lawns to simultaneously eradicate certain weeds and strengthen the turf. It seemed an appropriate title for a post on eradicating mites from colonies and feeding the bees up in preparation for the winter ahead. Arguably these are the two most important activities of […]

More gentle beekeeping

I’ve done less beekeeping this year than any time in the past decade. The Covid-19 lockdown enforced changes to the way we live and work, meaning my contact with the bees has been ‘big and infrequent’ rather than ‘little and often’.  ‘Big and infrequent’ meaning a day or three of intense activity every month or […]