The Dartford Beekeepers

Dartford Branch of the Kent Beekeepers’ Association




           First off let me wish you a Happy New Year and hope that it is filled with honey and devoid of Asian Hornets. 


           The Weather is and has been throughout the Holidays Wet, Windy and MILD.  This mild weather is set to continue for at least a while and as such causes a problem with the bees first being more active than if it was freezing cold and also the Queen could be encouraged to lay more than she should at this time of year.  All of this means that the bees in the hive are consuming more stores than they should and are likely to run out before the plants are ready to provide more to replace them.  As William has mentioned in his Chairman’s Chat the state of stores in the hive should be monitored by hefting the hive to judge as to when the stores are running out. If the hive is feeling light then the colony will need feeding and as you should all be aware syrup is not easily useable to the bees in the cold weather as it can not be evaporated to the correct consistency and will possibly cause dysentery at the very least.  If you need to feed your bees it is best to feed them candy or fondant which is effectively sugar paste as is used for cake decorating and is the quickest and easiest thing to get in an emergency.


           William mentioned that he has put fondant feeding boards on his hives in anticipation of needing to load them with fondant, these boards are like a crown board with a large area to place fondant in on top of the frames to allow the bees access to it however if you have not got an feeder board then placing a pat of fondant directly over one or both of the open holes in the crown board the bees will be able to access it if the weather is cold then I would try to spot which hole is closest to the cluster and use that I also put the fondant into a margarine or plastic tack away container just to contain the bees to save suiting up when checking if more is required.


           We have some 2018 wall calendars in the Apiary they are priced at £7.50 and £2.50 of which goes towards Apiary Funds.  Last thing do not feed Syrup until at least March further on this next month.

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