APIARY REPORT TO FISHERS FIELD COMMITTEE May 2015

APIARY REPORT TO FISHERS FIELD COMMITTEE May 2015

Fishers Field went into winter with three hives – two full size colonies and one nursery hive or ‘nucleus’. They were well prepared for the rigours of the weather and had been medicated appropriately. You will be pleased to know that all three came through well including the little ‘nucleus’ that I moved to a different site owing to the overcrowding.

I have a new beekeeping mentor – an experienced beekeeper and highly enthusiastic ex-teacher from Hemel Hempstead called Diane Randall who has kindly agreed to be my beekeeping guardian angel for the forthcoming season. Diane has defined the Fisher’s Field bees as healthy and prolific – a major compliment to a bee colony although it also means they will need careful monitoring to avoid swarming a la Daily Mail… Did anybody read the article?

I have purchased extra equipment to allow for the growth of the colonies and the apiary has become crowded again. I think it is only a matter of time before I trip and fall headfirst into a hive! I do hope the Committee will act soon on extending the apiary as we have discussed. To reduce congestion I have already donated several queens and queen cells with accompanying bees to other beekeepers to widen their gene pool, to help beginners start a colony or to replace old or failing queens. Fisher’s Field bees have earned a reputation for being prolific and of an easy-going nature, so they are in demand!

I am very grateful to Cieran and those members of the Committee who helped at the recent working party to clear the path and the area around the apiary. It is very necessary to cut back the undergrowth before it encroaches on the apiary itself, and of course it is easier to do so before the bees are too numerous and active. Hopefully this year we will be able to reward everyone on the Committee for their ongoing support with some of our own honey.

I am looking forward to the forthcoming Fisher’s Field Picnic Day. Today I have been renovating an old glass fronted observation hive which I have been loaned and in which I hope to display live bees at the Picnic – if the weather obliges. I believe this is safer and easier to explain than inviting a mass of unprotected visitors into the apiary area.

Wish me luck – my first beekeeping exam will take place shortly. There are beekeeping books, magazines and photocopied articles sitting in almost every corner of my home. Some

nights I even dream about bees!

 

Hazel

Working session, May, 2015.

One Saturday a small group of Friends made sure the area around the beehives was
clear enough for the Apiarist to reach the bees. This time of year it all grows over very
fast, and cutting, slashing and strimming is needed. The Apiarist herself attended to the
grass, etc, growing round the bottom of the hive. Others made sure all the blackberries
and general scrub was cut back. Pet dog in attendance!
The bees were not disturbed by the strimmer, used by Ciaran, from C.M.S. They seemed
fairly calm on the whole, though one Friend was unfortunately a casualty. Our bees
have had a good year, and we are hoping to extend the hives. Our Apiarist has a new
Mentor, who seems to have taken our bees under her wing.

Apiary

Apiary clearing