Wednesday, 9 March 2016
New beekeeping ideas
Another blogging hiatus from me. I'm rubbish this year.
Thanks for the replies about moth-proofing. Cedar wood it is then. Pensive Pensioner mentioned cedar wood rings, which thread onto the coat hanger and I have found some on the internet at a reasonable price. Brilliant!
Cro and Fast SOS asked if we had problems with moths and yes, in the past we have, both in an Aran sweater and a wool Berber carpet. As the jacket cost more than he has EVER paid he wants to ensure he has it for years and years.
I was talking to my godson in the pub the other night. He is a beekeeper of three years, while David and I have kept bees for forty years now. I reminded him that he has introduced us to two pieces of equipment that have improved and/ or simplified our beekeeping. Never too old to learn eh?
The first is a varroa floor. Varroa is a mite that lives in the bee hive on the bees, many hives have been lost to this little blighter and there are various pesticides employed to kill the mite. The varroa floor is a mesh floor that allows the mites to fall through and out of the hive, but not to return, where they die. A piece of white card placed under the hive enables you to see the mites and allows for a count to give an idea of the degree of infestation.
The mesh floor also means that the hive is well ventilated, thus keeping it dry and healthy.
The second piece of equipment is for feeding the bees. Prior to using these feeders it was necessary to remove the roof from the hive and place a round covered dish type feeder over the hole in the top box (an extra empty box was needed above this box to allow room for the feeder under the roof. This is an manouver that necessitates pretty good weather as you don't want to chill the bees, nor shake the hive, thus risking shaking a cluster of bees (bees cluster to keep warm) All in all feeding bees or checking the feeders in winter can be quite invasive.
Let me introduce you to ....
Incidentally Fast SOS if you are reading this (I saw your comment on Leigh's blog), the placement of the hives two foot from the garden wall and under (trimmed) trees is, I believe an ideal setting for bees, offering protection from heat, extreme cold and high winds and a convenient place for swarms to settle. The trees behind the hives have each had swarms settle in them last year. I really am not a fan of hives staged in open fields or lawns.
I am sure you have all noticed how beautifully, smart my hives are! Some of the boxes and roofs we made only last year and some are over twenty years old. Either side of these three hives are a further seven of equal beauty!
Off to the pub, back soon