Jul 03

Going to the Heather

Over and over the old chestnut of the Glorious 12th as the starting date appears in print. If you want a heather crop it pays, literally to be on your moor by the third week in July.

I attended one Aberdeen and District honey show where the “worthies” were moaning about the failure of the heather that year. I smiled quietly having extracted a ton of the gloriously pungent honey. The so called failure of the heather that year was in reality the failure of the beekeepers to get the bees there in time. It was and is that simple.

As for starvation on the moors if the weather is reasonable they will work away quite happily amongst the myriad of little flowers that exist amongst the heather stems. Go up now and have a look for yourself. Obviously if the weather is dire then that is quite another matter. I have had some supers of very nice moor honey before the Ling flow commences.

The advice about having the brood box full of brood is good, and two broods full of brood are doubly better than the one. Remember the heather is hard on the bees with the spiders taking their toll as well as the bees wearing them selves out.

Another useful trick is to put a couple of cut comb frames in the supers to give yourself the chance of some lovely comb honey, your customers and or friends will appreciate the delicacy.

Get organised, get going and get there early, it winna wait for you, trust me on this.

 

PH

Apr 16

Over wintered Nucs

It’s been a late start this season and as of today’s date I consider it three weeks later than 2014. 

 

My over wintered nucs are in two camps, the very ordinary and the romping ahead camp. The temptation is to borrow from the good to boost the poor but no I am resisting. The good un’s will end up as colonies very shortly, the next two weeks should do it with some warmth, and the laggedybobs can toddle along until it is swarming time when they will be useful, as in the queens can head up new nucs and their bees can be added to existing stocks to give them a boost up, or added in to swarm nucs to boost them. 

 

Ah the delights of nucs, they are so versatile.

 

PH

 

Apr 05

Finally and Honey bound

The weather changed and I have been busy today.

 

How are they? Curates egg all in all, one is excellent and some are average and the rest are pretty poor, the long cold spell has taken it’s toll, but that I expected. 

 

The excellent one was on 8 frames of brood. Yes, 8 frames. And frankly would have been on at least another two but for being honey bound.

 

It’s an oddity but in my experience bees confronted with slabs of sealed honey in Spring just look at it and leave it alone. However if you bruise it, as in crush the cappings they will munch it away and happily expand. If you leave it they will just be confined. 

 

I bruised one and put it slap dab in the middle of the 8 and next week it will be 9 frames of brood if not ten as I put an empty frame next to them as well. 

 

PH

 

 

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