The Dartford Beekeepers

Dartford Branch of the Kent Beekeepersí Association

Chairmanís Chat

I was chatting with some new keepers at our meeting on Saturday 29th June and the question of only having one hive arose. Mulling this over,  over night (Always a bad thing to do, thinking about things. Nearly every time ends up costing time, money or both) anyway just having the one hive can cause the odd problem. The simple solution buy two hives (money). Make another temp. hive or brood box (Time). The issue only really presents itself when the colony decides its time to swarm. Not very likely in the first year of setting up, though not out of the question. But almost certain to arise in the second season.

Letting the bees swarm and dealing with that is not ideal for a newbie keeper. So taking the swarm avoidance route is the way to go, this does apply too to all keepers of coarse.  

All the swarm control methods I can think of at the moment require at the very least a second brood box with frames. So what are the options if you haven't   got spares.

* Borrow some kit from the club apiary. Now I'm sticking my neck out here cos I haven't discussed this with committee or apiary manager.

* Use what you have.  You may only have one complete hive but it will consist of more than one box. Most people buy two supers, not ideal but maybe find a couple of bits of ply for a floor and lid and use a super. 

* Improvise. Any box in a swarm ( oh dear terrible pun) bees don't really care what box they are in and you will just be using it temporarily.

Now there are probably loads of holes in the above as Iíve only give this minimal thought, but as long as the box you use doesn't have loads of holes but does have one you might get out of trouble.

 

Now an apology. When I was elected as the chairman I had no idea  that my wife was going get ill, neither did she. What this means is I have not had spare time to even do the basics regarding my own bees, let alone embarking on organising or co-ordinating new projects. I'm very grateful to the rest of the committee for stepping up to plate and covering, Thank you.   I will have to continue to humbly  impose upon the club and committee to cover for a while yet, please be assured that the committee is doing a great job and as soon as I can I'll be back in the mix.

 

Andy Bacon

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Dartford Branch

Kent Beekeepers

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July 2019