Nosema... under the microscope

We would like to thank all the local beekeepers who came along and left samples of their bees during our Annual Nosema Testing Day held at Magdalen Court School, Victoria Park Road, Exeter as well as our army of volunteers from our branch who helped make the day run smoothly.

In addition to the testing, there were demonstrations throughout the day on on frames assembly, very useful for beginners, as well as a demonstration of a Bailey comb change by David Friend in the morning and a talk by Mick Street on Nosema and other mites finishing off the day.

Neonicotinoids on bees

Scientists from the University of Dundee have produced new research showing that some neonicotinoids are damaging bees.  In an article by Claire Marshall, BBC Environment Correspondent entitled Banned pesticides 'not equally harmful' to bees (28th April 206) it reveals that the largest field study so far into the group of pesticides called neonicotinoids has concluded that each acts differently on the brains of bees.

Low food stores, high mite levels

Many beekeepers will have received an alert from the National Bee Unit about low food stores suggesting beekeepers should monitor food levels of their colonies closely over the next month as in many northern parts of the UK, the weather is still cold and foraging opportunities for large colonies are few and far between.

First apiary meeting

Our first Apiary Meeting of the year will be on Saturday 30th April and we'll be looking at how to collect samples of bees ahead of the Annual Nosema Testing Day next month.  Why not come along and practice before collecting from your own hives.

Beekeepers have all heard about Nosema disease, but what is it?  This is valuable knowledge for all new beekeepers as they learn how to manage their colonies and hopefully keep the bees as healthy as possible as we continually find ways to battle the diseases facing honey bees and other pollinators in this country.

Experiments with Warré hives

David Friend gave a fascinating presentation at our Annual General Meeting on Monday 9th November on the merits and considerations in using Warré hives for which he has kindly provided us with his notes reproduced here for others to read. 

His presentation entitled "Experiments with Warré Hives" certainly got many of us thinking!  Here's what David wrote: