The Dartford Beekeepers

Dartford Branch of the Kent Beekeepersí Association




†††††††††† February is here and so is the snow, well for a few hours at least.

†††††††††† The learn beekeeping course started with 10 people joining in with a view to keeping bees in the coming year.† Lets hope that they all enjoy the course and feel welcomed enough to stay members of the Dartford Branch and hopefully they will find a member in their area to help and mentor them in the first year.

†††††††††† Let me reiterate what I said last month. You should heft your hives to ensure that they have still got some stores available, if the hive is feeling a little light then you should consider some emergency feed.† This should take the form of fondant placed directly above the brood frames so that the bees can access it when the weather is cold without spreading the cluster.† I tend to cut a hole in the bag that the fondant comes in and place it over the hole in the crown board so that the hole in the bag is directly over the hole in the board allowing the bees unhindered access and preventing a cold draft when they have eaten through the fondant.

†††††††††† DO NOT feed your bees syrup as they can not process it in the cool or cold weather and it will ferment and cause your bees to suffer from dysentery doing them more harm than going hungry.

†††††††††† Last thing to do is to ensure that your hives are both secure in the winds and water tight against the winter weather.† Check them after any storms and if you were intending to treat for Varroa with Oxalic Acid do not delay too long as soon as you have the opportunity on a cold day get on with it as the Queen will be starting to lay a small number due to the days getting longer already.††††††

†††††††††† This is the shortest month of the year and yet it can start with snow on the first day of the month and end 4 week later in glorious warm sunshine.† Donít think that there is loads of time, get everything ready for March prepare your frames for foundation and ensure that you kit is clean and complete as March is on its way and so is the start of the beekeeping year.

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