The Dartford Beekeepers

Dartford Branch of the Kent Beekeepersí Association


MAY 2019


†††††††††† What a month we had in April warm to bitter cold back to hot for Easter weekend then a bit cooler with at last some much needed and long overdue rain.

†††††††††† There were a couple of swarms that managed to make a break for it, but all in all things seamed to be under control.

†††††††††† The bees that went through the winter with honey stores came into the year looking really good and were quick to build up so do keep an eye on them as they will be keen to swarm after the dry season last year so put those supers on if you havenít done so already and donít miss a week looking for those Queen cells.

†††††††††† Bob Smiths talk on the 27th was a well timed insight into another way to prevent a swarm although nothing is a guarantee in the beekeeping world so the more weapons you have at your disposal the better.

†††††††††† I performed shook swarms on the hives at Lullingstone Castle in the World Garden and the bees in one hive took the syrup offered and quickly built up the comb and the brood.† The other hive however did not take the syrup on offer but preferred to find their own forage and where slower to build the comb also they had next to no brood the last time I looked although I then took the time to look for a queen.† I did this because there was also at least half of the bees dead in the bottom of the hive between the Queen excluder under the brood chamber and the Varroa mesh floor.† I found the Queen but did not mark her as she sneaked off as I got the marking kit out so she will get it next time I see her.

†††††††††† Our meeting this month is now our Quiz and Auction meeting on the 25th and on June 29th will see Nikki Gammans return and update us on her project of re-introducing the Bumble bee thought to be extinct in Britain to the Dungeness area.

†††††††††† Lastly there are still Queen wasps and hornets looking for nest sites so keep your eyes pealed for the Asian Hornet and if you see one report it to our local hornet team for conformation the identification details are below.

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