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Mid Summer Madness

posted Jul 10, 2019, 3:54 PM by Helen Mooney   [ updated Jul 10, 2019, 4:01 PM ]
Well, there is no rest for the wicked, or so it is said, and so the work of managing bees for the summer flow continues.  It amazes me that only a matter of weeks ago, we had to feed precious ivy stores which were surplus in May and indeed which were hampering queen laying by causing brood boxes to be honey bound.  We usually store these frames away until new nucs need feeding. But a few frames definitely had to be fed to full colonies that were on the brink of starvation.  Some of those colonies have made a miraculous recovery but the honey crop varies from one to several supers, all very location dependent.

Meanwhile, some funding materialised and was put to good use by training some beginners in Knockmore who had missed our Spring training in Ballina.  What a vibrant community , and thanks to Shirley there who arranged the logistics for us, and to Leader and MSLETB for coming together on the funding.   Hands on training takes place this Sunday and we will monitor progress over the next 12 months.

Back to immediate tasks and we are still finding swarm cells in some colonies, still delivering nucs to beginners and still getting enquiries.  But on the horizon are things like harvesting the honey crop and treating for varroa, not to mention ordering frames and foundation- we always run out, despite meticulous planning and projections for the year ahead.  It's a good complaint and reflects the level of interest the sale of nucs and how focused we are on removing old frames that may have a high spore load.  Queens just love to lay in new foundation.  We have decided to adopt a zero tolerance for chalkbrood (Ascophaera apis) this year, so any colonies displaying even slight symptoms are put on watch, queens changed and may be shook swarmed.