Update 28th September ’23
At the Apiary the wasps are almost gone, Hurray, they were really bad this year. I have a fake wasp nest I hang in the tree, it’s supposed to stop wasps nesting nearby. So far Alex hasn’t come across any nests as he’s been strimming and grass cutting, but they certainly visited.
We have had a prolonged feeding session with the bees, they were really empty of stores and pollen in early August and had to be fed. Robbing was occurring almost as soon as we opened any hive so we had to reduce any bee checks.
Then we had to treat them, this year we used MAQs on our large hives, it’s a new formula, laying will stop usually but it is only a week. The smaller ones and recent Queens were treated with Apiguard, usually feeding is not recommended but they were getting so light we had to put feeders back in the second week, there was evidence of robbing, even though entrances were reduced for several weeks, and we had to open entrances for some treatments which didn’t help. The vapours of Apiguard can stop them entering the feeders, or can overwhelm them, but this didn’t seem to happen. We then continued with fondant on smaller nucs and hives, but big feeders for the other hives. The large 4L feeders plastic feeders are plastic and don’t last many years as plastic becomes brittle, so a member donated some wooden Ashforth feeders that fit the entire hive, we tested them and a couple are leaking and need repainting or sealant, but the others are fine. I have become a big fan, no bee squashing when putting plastic feeder on, if the hive is at an angle you can place the feeder so the bees can get the last drops of syrup. Thornes sell them for £70+. Thanks for donation Zoe.
Anyway many gallons of syrup later they have finally got to a good weight and can backfill with Ivy honey if they want, One of the reasons we also wanted to feed is we were worried the bees would fill up with Ivy honey only which goes hard over winter.
ZEST HIVE BLOG – experiences to date
Chip Walters has written a Blog on his experiences and learning points using a Zest Hive for his bees. Read his interesting and informative article here.
The second chapter of Chip’s Zest Hive Blog has now been added here Inspection 6.
Exeter Beekeepers welcomed 27 visitors for first hand experience of Beekeeping on Sunday 13th August 2023. Cathy Mudge welcomed them all with tea and honey cake, David Packham, BBKA Assessor, provided the expertise to answer the more complex questions, and Alex made sure that the infrastructure worked perfectly! A lovely group of visitors participated fully by donning beesuits and then got hands on experience of typical beehive inspections whilst being guided by members of Exeter Beekeepers. Hopefully our visitors will have enjoyed the experience enough to want to follow up their initial enthusiasms by opting to take the winter training course!
May 2023 – Video Clips
Cathy, our Secretary, has collated a series of short video clips of different bee-keeping activities ranging from hive inspections, through swarm collection to honey processing – please use YouTube link below. Cathy intends to add more clips of different tasks through the beekeeping season.
Varroa Eating Beetle!
This beetle ran across the varroa board, grabbed one, and then ran off to eat the varroa – what a great beetle! Should we be encouraging them to move in beneath our mesh floors? Picture taken by Cathy as she was doing a varroa inspection at the Apiary.
Detail information below from Graham Kingham – many thanks.
The largest British family. Rove beetles can be found in almost all habitats, and are among the most frequently encountered beetles. This huge group is now generally acknowledged to be the largest family within the coleoptera as well as in the whole Animal kingdom; around 63000 species (estimates vary) have been described. This one appears to be a Paederusti parios.
1pm Saturday 14th May 2022
Looking forward to a bit of sun too when you come, Regards Cathy.
1pm Saturday 16th April – First Apiary Meeting of 2022 –
Yipeeee, sunny days are here again?
Saturday 28th August ’21.
We will be opening the Apiary for members on Saturday 28th August
We have to keep to 30 Members on each day and will work in small groups. Please can you let Cathy know if you would like to attend so that she can schedule visitors accordingly. If you haven’t visited before, Cathy will send you a map – her mobile is 07939 278081.
Our branch apiary is located near the village of Woodbury Salterton, Devon
Branch meetings are held on alternate Sunday mornings at 1030 during the summer and are open for any of our members to visit – details of the location are contained by contacting the Branch Secretary (email@example.com) for directions.
Whether you are new to beekeeping or have enjoyed this wonderful hobby for many years, the branch apiary meetings provide an opportunity for beekeepers to learn more with hands-on experience as well as gaining further knowledge from others who are on hand to share their wisdom and offer tips and advice.
COVID 19 infections still pose a serious threat. Caroline has provided two documents governing behaviours to minimise the transmission of infections whilst visiting the Apiary – the ‘Code of Conduct‘ which provides an overview of requirements and a detailed ‘Covid Risk Assessment‘. Please read the attachments before attending the Apiary.