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This month in the apiary

Thoughts on this month in beekeeping by Janine Sparks


The weather has been pretty changeable recently and is looking a bit grim for the next week or two.  The bees will be in their cluster when it is on the chilly side, but will be out and about if they can.

It is important to keep an eye on stores, because the queen may still be laying, and the bees will need their stores.  So heft your hives and stand by with some fondant ready just in case. 

Also make sure your hives are protected from the elements and wildlife as appropriate – just check they are ok once in a while, in case your bees need your help.  In particular make sure they are protected from the forthcoming storms – strap them up if you think they may get buffeted by the wind!

What’s going on in the hive?

The older bees will be dying out and the new young bees bred in September and October will sustain the colony through the long winter months. The queen will still lay eggs through the winter, so you should see bees bringing in pollen on warmer days. 

What’s in the larder?

The leaves are turning now at last but on meandering round my garden today I found a few flowers out – nasturtium, salvia “hot lips” and my mahonia is beginning to think about blooming! Enjoy your beekeeping….. now onto cleaning up all that kit….. I am giving my bee suits a good clean now the season is properly over, to try and get that propolis off them ready for the spring.  Then on to preparing for the Farnham show!  If you haven’t entered before, why not give it a go?